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Middle Tennessee podiatrist sentenced to federal prison for health care fraud scheme

Staff Reports • May 31, 2018 at 2:38 PM

NASHVILLE – A Murfreesboro podiatrist was sentenced Thursday in U.S. District Court to two years in prison for health care fraud.

Dr. John J. Cauthon, 51, was indicted in October 2015 on seven counts of health care fraud and found guilty on four counts after a jury trial in September 2017.

In sentencing, Chief U.S. District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. said Cauthon had accepted no responsibility for his actions and showed no remorse. Crenshaw also ordered Cauthon to pay $218,000 in restitution.

Cauthon was a podiatrist in Murfreesboro who contracted to proved podiatric services to residents of nursing homes located throughout Tennessee.

According to court documents, between May 2014 and August 2015, Cauthon engaged in a scheme to defraud Medicare, TennCare and BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee, by submitting $200,000 in fraudulent claims for a surgical procedure for nail avulsions, which he did not perform.

At trial, numerous witnesses from nursing homes across the state testified Cauthon never performed the avulsion procedures he claimed he performed, including in some instances, claiming he had performed more than 30 avulsions in a single day. Nursing home residents also testified Cauthon simply clipped their toenails.

Former employees also testified Cauthon directed them to bill Medicare for services that were medically unnecessary and directed them to fit bedridden patients in nursing homes with ankle braces, which served no medical purpose.

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