Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Pain Clinic With Valley Locations Settles for $11.4M with State, Feds
gvw_edward_smith
By Edward Smith
Published 9 months ago on
July 12, 2023

Share

California Attorney General Rob Bonta negotiated an $11.4 million settlement with a pain management clinic after allegations of Medi-Cal fraud.

Dr. Francis Lagattuta
Dr. Francis Lagattuta

Lags Medical Clinics — owned by Dr. Francis Lagattuta — operated 28 clinics in California and especially the Valley. There were three in Fresno.

Bonta, along with the U.S. Department of Justice, alleged that Lagattuta had been conducting unnecessary tests and procedures on thousands of patients, billing Medi-Cal and Medicare for the services.

“Thousands of Medi-Cal patients trusted Dr. Lagattuta to take away their pain,” Bonta said in a news release. “Instead he exploited their trust by carrying out arrays of unnecessary tests and billing for them over the objections of the doctors he employed.”

Unnecessary Procedures Conducted on Patients

Lagattuta had told employees at his clinics to conduct procedures on patients regardless of whether they needed them or not, the investigation found.

Procedures such as skin biopsies, spinal cord stimulation, and urine drug testing were done often without patient consent.

Medi-Cal and Medicare would then be billed for the services.

“Dr. Lagattuta and Lags Medical engaged in a brazen scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid of millions of dollars by inflicting unnecessary and painful procedures on patients whom they were supposed to be relieving of pain,” said U.S. Attorney Phillip Talbert.

Patient Care Ended Abruptly

In May 2021, patients of Lags Medical Centers received text messages saying that the offices providing them with rehabilitation and care would be closing, according to Kaiser Health News.

KHN also reported the clinic served 20,000 patients throughout the Valley and Central Coast.

The California Department of Health Care Services soon after suspended Medi-Cal payments to Lags Medical Clinic because of an investigation into Dr. Francis Lagattuta’s practice.

Fresno County Lawsuit

A lawsuit filed in Fresno County alleged that a Lags Medical provider in Fresno punctured a patient’s lung during a botched injection for back pain. Lagattuta and the other named defendants have denied the incident was due to negligent treatment, KHN reported.

Former employees said they were given bonuses if they treated more than 32 patients in a day, a strategy Lagattuta confirmed in his deposition for the malpractice lawsuit.

“If they saw over, like, 32 patients, they would get, like, $10 a patient,” Lagattuta testified.

Settlement Terms

Of the $11.4 million, $8.5 million will go to the federal government. California will receive $2.7 million and Oregon will receive $130,000.

Lagattuta will be barred from receiving any Medi-Cal reimbursement or be allowed to bill Medi-Cal for five years.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

DON'T MISS

Career-High Strike Outs for Ryan Weathers as Marlins Best Giants 6-3

DON'T MISS

LeBron’s Lakers Top Pelicans in Play-in, Set up Playoff Rematch With Nuggets

DON'T MISS

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

DON'T MISS

Mookie Betts Matches Career Best with 5 Hits in Dodgers’ 6-2 Victory Over Nationals

DON'T MISS

Klay Thompson Misses All 10 Shots in Potential Last Game With the Warriors

DON'T MISS

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

DON'T MISS

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

DON'T MISS

Southern California City Council Gives Key Approval for Disneyland Expansion Plan

DON'T MISS

Tesla Wants Shareholders to Reinstate CEO Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package

UP NEXT

Career-High Strike Outs for Ryan Weathers as Marlins Best Giants 6-3

UP NEXT

LeBron’s Lakers Top Pelicans in Play-in, Set up Playoff Rematch With Nuggets

UP NEXT

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

UP NEXT

Mookie Betts Matches Career Best with 5 Hits in Dodgers’ 6-2 Victory Over Nationals

UP NEXT

Klay Thompson Misses All 10 Shots in Potential Last Game With the Warriors

UP NEXT

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

UP NEXT

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

UP NEXT

Southern California City Council Gives Key Approval for Disneyland Expansion Plan

UP NEXT

Tesla Wants Shareholders to Reinstate CEO Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package

UP NEXT

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

Edward Smith,
Multimedia Journalist
Edward Smith began reporting for GV Wire in May 2023. His reporting career began at Fresno City College, graduating with an associate degree in journalism. After leaving school he spent the next six years with The Business Journal, doing research for the publication as well as covering the restaurant industry. Soon after, he took on real estate and agriculture beats, winning multiple awards at the local, state and national level. You can contact Edward at 559-440-8372 or at Edward.Smith@gvwire.com.

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

45 mins ago

Mookie Betts Matches Career Best with 5 Hits in Dodgers’ 6-2 Victory Over Nationals

48 mins ago

Klay Thompson Misses All 10 Shots in Potential Last Game With the Warriors

52 mins ago

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

1 hour ago

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

1 hour ago

Southern California City Council Gives Key Approval for Disneyland Expansion Plan

2 hours ago

Tesla Wants Shareholders to Reinstate CEO Elon Musk’s $56 Billion Pay Package

2 hours ago

Myanmar’s Ousted Leader Suu Kyi Moved From Prison to House Arrest Due to Heat, Military Says

2 hours ago

Vital Climate Tool or License to Pollute? The Battle Over CA’s First Carbon Capture Project

2 hours ago

Boeing in the Spotlight as Congress Calls a Whistleblower to Testify About Defects in Planes

2 hours ago

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

Rudy Salas and Adam Gray have lots to brag about with the latest fundraising tallies for congressional candidates. Both are former Democrati...

13 mins ago

13 mins ago

Dem House Challengers Salas, Gray Flex Fundraising Muscle

16 mins ago

Career-High Strike Outs for Ryan Weathers as Marlins Best Giants 6-3

23 mins ago

LeBron’s Lakers Top Pelicans in Play-in, Set up Playoff Rematch With Nuggets

45 mins ago

Storm Dumps Record Rain and Floods Dubai’s Airport

48 mins ago

Mookie Betts Matches Career Best with 5 Hits in Dodgers’ 6-2 Victory Over Nationals

52 mins ago

Klay Thompson Misses All 10 Shots in Potential Last Game With the Warriors

1 hour ago

NBA Bans Jontay Porter for Life After Probe Shows He Bet on Games

1 hour ago

Carbon Capture Isn’t Nearly as ‘Green’ as Fossil Fuel Promoters Make It Sound

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend