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James Carpenter and Solace Advancement Agreed to Be Excluded for 20 Years for Causing the Submission of False Claims for Neuro-Stimulators

On December 7, 2020, in connection with the resolution of their False Claims Act liability, James Carpenter (Carpenter), Rockledge, Florida, and Solace Advancement, LLC (Solace), Michigan, agreed to be excluded under 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(b)(7) for twenty years. The investigation revealed and OIG alleged that Carpenter and Solace promoted and sold the P-Stim and Stivax devices by engaging in a scheme to falsely represent to medical providers that Medicare reimbursed for the Stivax and P-Stim devices and provider services related to the devices. As part of the scheme, Carpenter, Solace, and others falsely represented and communicated to health care providers throughout the United States that it was appropriate to submit claims to Medicare for reimbursement for: (a) the Stivax device by submitting Healthcare Common Procedure Coding System (“HCPCS”) codes, including L8679; and (b) for the medical provider’s services applying the Stivax device by submitting a variety of Current Procedural Terminology (“CPT”) codes. However, these codes were at all times intended to reimburse for materials and services related to surgically implanted neuro-stimulators that are implanted under the skin by a surgeon in a surgical setting. The P-Stim and Stivax devices are not implantable neurostimulators and are instead electro-acupuncture devices that are applied to patients’ ears without anesthesia in a medical office setting. Medicare does not reimburse for electro-acupuncture devices and related services. Senior Counsel Katie Fink represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:December 7, 2020
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions