Albany Times Union
$42,000 settles Medicare fraud case
ALBANY — A former Niskayuna surgeon agreed to pay $42,000 to the federal government to resolve allegations he submitted false claims to Medicare through his business, Union Orthotics and Pedorthics.
Steven A. St. Lucia has also pleaded guilty to state health care fraud charges and is awaiting sentencing on Friday. He was indicted in 2019 on 26 charges related to accusations he defrauded a state health insurance program, through the business also known as Union Foot Solutions.
According to the settlement agreement from the U.S. attorney’s office, St. Lucia admitted that from Dec. 1, 2016 through Feb. 28, 2018, he billed Medicare for services he provided through his business in the name of another pedorthist. The specialty means a professional who has training to modify footwear and fit supportive devices to address conditions that affect the feet and lower limbs.
The state Board of Professional Medical Conduct previously revoked St. Lucia’s medical license in 2000 for demonstrating negligence, gross incompetence and inappropriate sexual relations with patients. That determination meant he was excluded from participating in all federal health care programs, including Medicare.
After that exclusion, St. Lucia opened Union Foot Solutions, a medical supply company, and applied to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for his company to participate in Medicare. St. Lucia lied on his application and said he was eligible to participate in federal health care programs, the U.S. attorney’s office said.
After his application was denied, St. Lucia transferred ownership of the business to a third party, which then successfully obtained authorization to participate in Medicare.
Meanwhile St. Lucia continued to work for the company, billing the federal government.
At the time St. Lucia was arrested in 2018, authorities alleged he forged prescriptions, falsified insurance claims, and issued inappropriate charges for orthotics and compression stockings in order to obtain more than $4 million over the course of at least five years.