Ocala, Florida — Florida cardiologist, Dr. Asad Qamar, of the Institute for Cardiovascular Excellence PLLC (ICE), has released a video statement defending himself, and ICE, against two whistleblower lawsuits that have been filed.
In the video, he stated ICE is taking care of approximately 24, 000 patients in Northern Central Florida with various medical needs.
Qamar said, “Ice is the only cardiovascular practice in the entire area taking absolutely free care of our indigent, uninsured, and poorly insured patients.”
He goes on to say that Ice has the lowest amputation rate for peripheral arterial disease in the entire country.
Qamar says that ICE, out of 20,000 procedures, has a zero mortality rate.
U.S. Attorney A. Lee Bentley III for the Middle District of Florida, and Acting Assistant Attorney General Joyce R. Branda for the Justice Department’s Civil Division, are asking how ICE makes a profit, if it sees such a large quantity of patients for free.
According to the DOJ, Qamar billed more than $18 million, the second highest Medicare biller out of any physician in Florida for 2012.
Special Agent in Charge, Derrick L. Jackson, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), said, “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to protect beneficiaries and hold health care providers accountable for such outrageous fraud schemes.”
The DOJ, however, said the government stepped in over the law suits because of the amount of fraud that has been alleged, and the claims asserted by the government are allegations only. There has been no determination of liability at this point in the investigation.