Cypress podiatrist pays $90K to settle allegations of false billing for acupuncture devices, DOJ says


HOUSTON – A 39-year-old Cypress man has agreed to pay to resolve allegations he submitted false claims for the placement of electro-acupuncture devices, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Tuesday.

According to a news release from the Department of Justice, Dr. Amr El-Khashab is a podiatrist who practices in Cypress and whom podiatrist Dr. Judith Rubin previously employed.

From March 1, 2018, to Nov. 30, 2019, El-Khashab and Rubin billed Medicare for the surgical implantation of neurostimulator electrodes. These are invasive procedures usually requiring use of an operating room. Medicare pays thousands of dollars per procedure.

However, neither Rubin nor El-Khashab performed these surgical procedures. Instead, patients received devices used for electro-acupuncture, which only involves inserting needles into patients’ ears and taping the neurostimulator behind them with an adhesive.

Rubin previously entered into an $865,000 settlement to address these allegations.

To date, this is the ninth case the Southern District of Texas has resolved for similar conduct. The other matters included settlements with a Katy anesthesiologist, Houston pain doctor, Rockport chiropractor, Houston chiropractor, Laredo pain doctor, The Woodlands pain doctor and Cypress marketing representative.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office conducted the investigation with the Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General and Qlarant, the Unified Program Integrity Contractor for Medicare. Assistant U.S. Attorney Brad Gray handled the matter.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.