Wichita physician to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations of Medicare false claims

A Wichita physician and his company, EECP Heart Center of Kansas, have agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle allegations that false claims were submitted to the federal Medicare program, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced Monday.

Roger W. Evans, 73, is the owner and president of EECP, according to a news release from Grissom’s office.

Evans operated several clinics across Kansas and provided enhanced counterpulsation therapy, an in-patient service for the treatment of coronary artery disease. Authorities contend that between July 2005 and June 2009, Evans submitted claims to Medicare for services when Evans was not actually present at the clinics and did not provide direct supervision as required by Medicare.

In a phone interview Monday, Evans said he wasn’t aware his presence was necessary during each treatment. He denies wrongdoing.

“My mistake was not asking an attorney,” he said, when asked about the charges. “ … The interpretation of the laws has changed several times about who has to be present. We did all of ours in hospitals — always where there were physicians.”

Evans said the treatments were administered under the direct supervision of registered nurses at clinics in Wichita, Great Bend, Liberal and Neodesha. He shut down the clinics in May 2010 following an investigation by the Office of the Inspector General, which led to the settlement.

Evans says he paid the $1.5 million settlement Friday, after refinancing properties and draining savings accounts. His age and the health of his wife played a role in his choice to pay, he said.

According to the terms of the agreement, Evans and his company do not admit any wrongdoing.

Evans currently practices at Cypress Heart, 9300 E. 29th St. North, in Wichita and at several clinics and medical centers across Kansas.

Contributing: Eagle staff