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Silsbee doctor added to federal case involving medical fraud referral scheme that gave kickbacks to doctors

All doctors named in the case are accused of improperly billing federal health care programs for medically unnecessary laboratory testing.

SILSBEE, Texas — A Silsbee doctor is one of six Texas physicians named in an amended federal case alleging medical fraud and kickbacks to doctors for lab tests that were unneeded.

The initial case filed by the government named two other Southeast Texas doctors. Stephen Kash, of Beaumont, and William Todd Hickman, of Lumberton, were named in the case brought by the U.S. Department of Justice against them and 13 others for the medical fraud referral scheme.

MORE | Read full Department of Justice complaint here

All doctors named in the case are accused of improperly billing federal health care programs for medically unnecessary laboratory testing, the Department of Justice says.

The six physicians named Thursday allegedly received thousands of dollars in kickbacks in return for their referrals for laboratory testing.

The names of the six Texas doctors are listed below, according to the Department of Justice.

  • Doyce Cartrett, Jr., M.D., of Silsbee, Texas, allegedly received over $320,000 
  • Elizabeth Seymour, M.D., of Corinth, Texas, allegedly received over $280,000 
  • Emanuel Paul “E.P.” Descant, II, M.D., of Spring, Texas, allegedly received over $125,000
  • Frederick Brown, M.D., of Missouri City, Texas, allegedly received over $190,000 
  • Heriberto Salinas, M.D., of Cleburne, Texas, allegedly received over $75,000 
  • Hong Davis, M.D., of Lewisville, Texas, allegedly received over $70,000

The government alleges that between at least 2010 and 2018, executives and employees of laboratories True Health Diagnostics LLC, and Boston Heart Diagnostics Corporation conspired with small Texas hospitals, such as Little River Healthcare, to pay doctors to refer patients for testing. True Health Diagnostics and Boston Heart Diagnostics would then perform the testing, according to the Department of Justice.

The hospitals allegedly paid a portion of their laboratory profits to recruiters, who in turn kicked back those funds to the referring physicians, according to the government complaint.

The government alleges that the recruiters set up companies, known as management service organizations, to make payments to referring physicians that were disguised as investment returns. The payments were allegedly based on and offered in exchange for the physicians’ referrals. 

Lab tests from the referral scheme were billed to various federal medical programs including Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE, according to the release.

In many cases, the referred tests were "not reasonable and necessary."

Additionally, Little River Healthcare falsely billed lab tests as outpatient services which resulted in much larger payments for the tests the release said.

The Justice Department's complaint is alleging the scheme violated the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law.

"The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law seek to ensure that medical providers’ judgments are not compromised by improper financial incentives and are instead based on the best interests of their patients," according to the Department of Justice.

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