Physician, wife duo plead guilty to kickback, bribery scheme

Yitzchok Kurtzer, MD, and his wife, Robin Kurtzer, pleaded guilty to an indictment charging them with conspiracy to violate the Federal Anti-Kickback Statute.

Dr. Kurtzer is a primary care physician with offices in the Scranton, Pa., area, and his wife Ms. Kurtzer helped manage the offices.  

Starting in 2018, Dr. Kurtzer and Ms. Kurtzer allegedly solicited and received monthly cash kickbacks and bribes in exchange for collecting DNA samples from Medicare patients and sending them for genetic tests to clinical laboratories in New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to a Nov. 22 news release from the Justice Department.

Medicare was billed more than $1.3 million for the tests coming from Dr. Kurtzer's practice, according to the release.

Two of Dr. Kurtzer's employees, Amber Harris and Shanelyn Kennedy, have pleaded guilty for their roles in the kickback scheme. Lee Besen, MD, and Kimberly Schmidt have also pleaded guilty for a related cash-for-genetic-tests scheme.

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