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Tennessee Podiatrist Found Guilty Of $4 Million Foot Bath Scam




If you speak falsehoods and perpetuate a scheme, you can be accused of having “put your foot in your mouth”. It can cause law enforcement to “put its foot down”. Please pardon our use of puns and clichés this week as we examine a case involving a foot doctor. All jokes aside, the above statements can certainly be made about 59 year-old podiatrist, Nathan Lucas.

 

Lucas has been convicted of a foot bath scam.

 

As the Office of Public Affairs reported this week, the Tennessee-based doctor has been convicted of a $4 million foot bath fraud scheme. According to the report, Lucas was found guilty by a federal jury for his scheme to defraud Medicare and TennCare (which is the state of Tennessee’s Medicaid program). Lucas’ crime was prescribing and dispensing medically unnecessary foot bath medications and obtaining millions of dollars in reimbursements.

 

Podiatry, of course, is no laughing matter. Commonly referred to as foot doctors, podiatrists actually treat disorders of the foot, ankle and lower extremities. The feet, as we all know, are the foundation of the body. They provide stability and support to enable us to function properly. Made up of 28 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments, the foot is a complex structure. Podiatrists help us to maintain the very important health of our feet.

 

Lucas owned the Memphis-based Advanced Foot & Ankle Care.

 

Both court documents and evidence presented at trial showed that Lucas owned and operated a podiatry clinic. Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Advanced Foot & Ankle Care of Memphis LLC was used, along with two in-house pharmacies, to prescribe and dispense antibiotic and antifungal drugs. Lucas regularly prescribed the meds and informed his patients to mix them into tubs of water and soak their feet.

 

“These drug cocktails included capsules, creams, and powders that were not indicated to be dissolved in water and some of which were not even water soluble,” explains the Office of Public Affairs, “Lucas chose these medications to prescribe and dispense based on their anticipated reimbursement amount, rather than medical necessity.”

 

Lucas submitted nearly $4 million in claims to Medicare and TennCare.

 

Between October 2018 and September 2021, Lucas caused his pharmacies to submit nearly $4 million in claims to Medicare and TennCare. The claims were for the dispensing of expensive foot bath medications. Meanwhile, they were not medically necessary or eligible for reimbursement. The claims resulted in reimbursements of over $3 million for Lucas’ pharmacies.

 

“The jury convicted Lucas of five counts of health care fraud,” details the report, “He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.”

 

Are you an attorney who is currently working a healthcare fraud case?

 

The clinical experts at Allegiant Experts can help you! We coordinate and support courageous whistleblowers that shine lights on fraud, waste and abuse. Contact us today to schedule a complimentary consultation. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 407-217-5831. You may also email us at info@allegiantexperts.com.

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