WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Federal prosecutors said a Wichita cardiologist has agreed to pay $5.8 million to settle claims that he and his medical group improperly billed federal health care programs for medically unnecessary cardiac stent procedures.
The Justice Department said in a news release Thursday that Joseph Galichia and his medical group, Galichia Medical Group, also agreed to be banned for three years from participation in any federal health care program, such as Medicaid and Medicare.
Prosecutors said Galichia and his group knowingly submitted false billings from 2008 through 2014 for surgically implanted coronary stents that were not medically necessary. The billings were submitted to Medicare, the Defense Health Agency, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
“We had a mountain of evidence that we could prove healthcare fraud and that’s why Doctor Galichia has settled,” said Larry Wall, whistleblower’s lawyer.
The Justice Department said it’s the government’s third such settlement with Galichia and his medical group since 2000.
“We decided to settle because he had a lot of business interests, and it’s just easier to settle although it’s painful,” said Gary Ayers, Galichia attorney.
KSN asked Ayers if people can still trust Galichia given these allegations.
“Absolutely,” said Ayers.
Ayers said the latest allegations are false, and he called the case government overreach. He told KSN the government’s witness was a “disgruntled employee” and claims prosecutors didn’t want to go to trial
“I don’t think they had any evidence against him,” said Ayers.
“They’re going to be paying on this for the next seven years, and I doubt they would be paying it if the claims were false,” said Wall.
Dr. Galichia’s lawyer said he is not currently practicing medicine, but he does plan on practicing in the future.