North Texas Men Who Owned Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy Companies Sentenced for Roles in Conspiracy to Commit Health Care Fraud
DALLAS—Yesterday afternoon, two businessmen, Stanley Thaw, 72, of Frisco, Texas, and Michael Kincaid, 57, of Plano, Texas, who owned and operated hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) companies located in Plano, Denton, Hurst, Houston, and San Antonio, Texas, were each sentenced to five years in federal prison by U.S. District Judge Jorge A. Solis for conspiring to commit health care fraud. In addition, Judge Solis ordered them to pay approximately $1.5 million in restitution, jointly and severally. U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District of Texas made the announcement today.
Each defendant pleaded guilty in July 2013 to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud, admitting they conspired together, and with others, to defraud Medicare by making false and fraudulent representations and promises in connection with payments of HBOT services and items. HBOT is a therapy used to assist in healing diabetic sores or amputations in an outpatient setting. HBOT is administered by placing the patient in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber to receive increased levels of oxygen; each session of HBOT is commonly referred to as a “dive” and generally lasted between 90 minutes and two hours.
The HBOT companies employed physicians to attend and supervise HBOT sessions to ensure that a patient was medically appropriate for the HBOT on that particular day and also to treat any medical emergency that may occur. Stanley Thaw and Kincaid admitted that they defrauded Medicare by billing multiple times for the physician supervision and attendance of HBOT-related services, when, in fact, the physician only supervised and attended one session/dive that day.
Stanley Thaw and his co-conspirators were advised on multiple occasions that billing for multiple dive sessions was improper and that they had overbilled Medicare. They continued to direct fraudulent claims to Medicare and other health care programs through at least June 2011.
The case was investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General, the Office of Personnel Management-Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Department of Public Safety. To learn more health care fraud, please visit stopmedicarefraud.gov.
Assistant U.S. Attorney P.J. Meitl prosecuted.