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Joel Aronowitz, MD and Tower Multi-Specialty Medical Group Agreed to Be Excluded for 15 Years for Causing the Submission of Improperly Billed Claims for Skin Substitute Products

On April 14, 2023, in connection with the resolution of their False Claims Act liability, Joel A. Aronowitz, M.D. and Joel A. Aronowitz, M.D. d/b/a Tower Multi-Specialty Medical Group (TMMG), California, agreed to be excluded under 42 U.S.C. 1320a-7(b)(7) for 15 years. The investigation revealed and OIG alleged that Dr. Aronowitz and TMMG falsely and knowingly: (1) billed government healthcare programs as if all wound care procedures took place in an ambulatory surgery center, when in fact they took place in a physician office; (2) stated that wound care procedures using the skin substitutes EpiFix and PuraPly occurred both in the physician office and in the ambulatory surgery center, when the same procedure could occur in only one location and, in fact, took place almost exclusively in the physician office; (3) stated that, when performing a wound care procedure, the skin substitute PuraPly was supplied by both the ambulatory surgery center facility and the doctor performing the wound care procedure at the ambulatory surgery center, when in fact either the facility or the doctor – but not both- supplied the PuraPly; and (4) billed government healthcare programs as if they had discarded unused portions of single-use skin substitutes, such as PuraPly and EpiFix, and appropriately sought reimbursement for those discarded portions when in fact they kept the unused portions for use on subsequent Medicare and Medicaid Beneficiaries. Senior Counsel Patrice Drew represented OIG.

Action Details

  • Date:April 14, 2023
  • Enforcement Types:
    • CMP and Affirmative Exclusions