The U.S. attorney’s office announced today that it had recovered more than $4 million in property from the estate of Dr. Stacey Johnson, a Baxter County cardiologist who had a medical practice and outpatient surgery center in Mountain Home from 1980 to 2009. An investigation prompted by a significant increase in Medicare billings from 2001 to 2006 and an increase in CT scans had led to a civil action.

The U.S. attorney’s office said Johnson had ordered unnecessary tests and falsely billed Medicare and Tricare.

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Johnson died in March 2013. He left an estate valued at nearly $4 million million in real and personal property. The federal Department of Health and Human Services made a claim for overpayments of $14.7 million. 

In a state probate case settlement, the U.S. will be paid the proceeds of a $2.5 million promissory note owing to Dr. Johnson and will take title to five properties worth $980,000. The personal representative of the state will receive the balance of $366,400.

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The government said the properties include a Mountain Home house once owned by Johnson’s ex-wife. She surrendered $600,000 from the residence, which also was encumbered by other liens.

$14 million in fraudulent billings. Remember that number the next time an Arkansas legislator suggests the problem with medical fraud could be solved by drug-testing poor people covered by Medicaid.

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