BOISE -- A Caldwell optometrist who pleaded guilty to scheming to defraud health care benefit programs will spend three years in federal prison, and must pay $1 million in restitution and $100,000 in fines..
U.S. Attorney Wendy J. Olson says 60-year-old Christopher Card was sentenced in U.S. District Court Tuesday.
The plea agreement says that between 1993 and Aug. 31, 2010, Card gave phony diagnoses of glaucoma, colorblindness or other eye diseases so he could bill Medicaid, Medicare and other insurance programs for expensive tests and treatments that he never actually administered.
Card admitted that in late Oct. 2008, he altered his fraudulent diagnoses and billing practices when he learned that federal and state health care fraud investigators interviewed a former employee.
“For years, Christopher Card defrauded Medicaid, Medicare and other healthcare benefit programs and diverted the funds to his own personal gain,” said Olson. “Nationally, health care fraud costs taxpayers nearly $252 per person, or $78 billion total, annually. Plainly, criminal conduct like this is a drain on our economy and on our health care resources. The significant sentence imposed by the Court was well deserved in this case.”
Card must also serve three years of supervised release when he gets out of prison.