Palm Springs-based pharmacy must pay nearly $1M for alleged Medi-Cal fraud

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A Palm Springs-based pharmacy will pay the state and federal governments almost $1 million for allegedly defrauding California’s Medicaid program.

LASR Enterprises must repay $925,000 after allegedly seeking and receiving reimbursement from Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, Attorney General Rob Bonta said in a news release.

Between 2015 and 2017, “LASR and its owners sought and received a total of $155,709 in reimbursement from Medi-Cal for drugs dispensed without a valid prescription, and a total of $22,177 in reimbursement for drugs that were over-dispensed per an authorized prescription,” the release said.

Now, the pharmacy must pay back more than five times what was taken, Bonta said.

“The Medi-Cal system supports our communities by providing access to free or affordable healthcare services for millions of Californians,” Bonta said in the release. “When providers wrongfully claim reimbursement from Medi-Cal, they are misappropriating vital resources meant to protect the health of vulnerable families. Today’s settlement demonstrates our commitment to protecting the integrity of Medi-Cal and holding accountable those who try to defraud it.”

The repayment figure was part of a settlement that did not determine liability, Bonta’s office said.

Medi-Cal is partially funded by the federal government, so of the $925,000, $555,000 is for the state and $370,000 is for the federal government.

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