Podiatrist Convicted of $4M Foot Bath Fraud Scheme

He prescribed unnecessary medications to be mixed into a tub of water for patients to soak their feet.

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A federal jury convicted a Tennessee podiatrist today for a scheme to defraud Medicare and TennCare by prescribing and dispensing medically unnecessary foot bath medications and obtaining millions of dollars in reimbursements.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Nathan Lucas, D.P.M., 59, of Memphis, owned and operated a podiatry clinic, Advanced Foot & Ankle Care of Memphis LLC, as well as two in-house pharmacies. Lucas regularly prescribed antibiotic and antifungal drugs to be mixed into a tub of water for patients to soak their feet. These drug cocktails included capsules, creams, and powders that were not indicated to be dissolved in water and some of which were not even water soluble. Lucas chose these medications to prescribe and dispense based on their anticipated reimbursement amount, rather than medical necessity. From October 2018 through September 2021, Lucas caused his pharmacies to submit nearly $4 million in claims to Medicare and TennCare for dispensing expensive foot bath medications that were not medically necessary and not eligible for reimbursement, for which Lucas’s pharmacies were reimbursed over $3 million.

The jury convicted Lucas of five counts of health care fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 20 and faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison on each count. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

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