MYRTLE BEACH — The U.S. Attorney’s Office for South Carolina said today that it has reached a $325,000 settlement with Dr. James Vest regarding claims of health care fraud involving his clinics.
The clinics are Primary Medical, Carolina Forest Family Medicine and Rivertown Primary Medical.
According to the U.S. attorney, Vest’s practices submitted claims to Medicare and TRICARE for services that were provided by mid-level providers, nurse practitioners and physician assistants as though the services were provided by Vest himself.
The investigation began with the filing of a whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act by one of the nurse practitioners who worked in Vest’s practices. Whistleblowers are entitled to share in any recovery received by the government. In this case, the nurse practitioner will receive 20 percent of the funds of the settlement or $65,000 plus her attorney fees.
“Health care fraud remains a high priority in this office. When a claim is submitted that misrepresents the service provided or who provides the services, it is false and we will make the case a priority,” U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said.