The medical director of a Bucks County addiction treatment center pleaded guilty Thursday to conspiring to commit nearly $10 million in health care fraud.
Domenick Braccia, 57, was head of medical treatment at three facilities owned by Liberation Way, a chain of drug and alcohol treatment centers based in Yardley. Liberation Way had additional locations in Bala Cynwyd and Fort Washington.
Prosecutors said Braccia, who was a part-owner of Liberation Way, submitted more than $9.5 million in fraudulent claims in an elaborate kick-back scheme that involved thousands of unnecessary urine tests.
According to federal court documents filed last month, Braccia never set foot in the Fort Washington facility, and rarely saw patients at the other facilities who were purportedly under his care yet billed insurance companies for their treatment.
Braccia was one of 11 people and nine businesses charged by state and federal law enforcement agencies in connection with the fraud.
Following an investigation, the Pa. Department of State found the osteopathic surgeon “an immediate and clear danger to the public safety” and on April 2 suspended Braccia’s license to practice medicine.
“This prosecution and today’s guilty plea should send a clear message to those seeking to build their fortunes on fraud and the despair of individuals battling addiction: health care fraud and the opioid epidemic are major priorities for the United States Attorney’s Office, and your illegal actions will be uncovered and prosecuted,” said First Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Arbittier Williams in a statement.
Braccia formerly was a self-styled “Lyme literate" physician at the Haverford Wellness Center who was sued in 2015 by a patient after he allegedly administered an unproven and harmful treatment for a disease she did not have.