Billing for false claims – come on! John D. Kristofic, MD Sentenced to Prison for Health Care Fraud

Billing for false claims – somehow I don’t think that was taught in Medical school.  Likewise, it’s hard to imagine how someone could envision that behavior to be moral or ethical, yet every day people justify or rationalize behavior and, as I say in my ethics presentations, every choice has a consequence.  Dr. John D. Kristofic will be spending time in prison – having time to think about his choices.

On May 5, 2010, Dr. John D. Kristofic, age 62, a resident of Allegheny County, was sentenced in federal court in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to one year in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release on his conviction of health care fraud.

Between January of 2003 and August of 2008, Dr. Kristofic submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare and to his patients’ health insurers for medical services which he never rendered.  During that time, Dr. Kristofic was paid in excess of $1 million for the fraudulent claims which he had submitted.  As part of the plea, Dr. Kristofic paid $3,303,188 to the government as restitution for the fraudulent claims and the costs of the government’s investigation.

Fortunately for Kristofic – his “other” choices helped to mitigate his sentence as the recommended range of sentencing under the United States Sentencing Guidelines was 33 to 41 months of imprisonment. However, Judge Ambrose varied from that recommended range based on Dr. Kristofic’s history of working as a volunteer, including his history of treating homeless people in the Pittsburgh area and providing free medical care to needy persons in Haiti.

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