Murfreesboro podiatrist convicted in scheme to defraud Medicare

Staff Reports • Sep 27, 2017 at 3:13 PM

A federal jury convicted podiatrist John J. Cauthon, 51, of Murfreesboro, on Wednesday of four counts of health care fraud that involved a 16-month scheme to defraud Medicare and other health care benefit programs.

The convictions came after a two-week trail before U.S. Chief District Judge Waverly D. Crenshaw Jr. Cauthon was also acquitted of three counts of health care fraud.

According to the indictment and the evidence presented at trial, from May 2014 to August 2015, Cauthon executed a scheme to defraud Medicare, TennCare and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee by submitting false and fraudulent claims for surgical procedures he didn’t perform.

Cauthon traveled around to nursing homes across Tennessee and up-coded routine foot care to nail avulsions, which is paid out at a higher rate by Medicare.

Cauthon’s former employees testified at trial they witnessed him prescribe medically unnecessary ankle braces to bed-bound patients and pocket Medicare funds after durable medical equipment was returned or never picked up by patients.

Cauthon is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 26. He faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of health care fraud. 

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