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Medical Billing Firm Accused Of Bilking Santa Clara Co. On Spinal Implant Costs

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) - A company that professes to helps patients cover the cost of expensive spinal implants overbilled Santa Clara County taxpayers by tens of thousands of dollars and pocketed the profits, according to prosecutors.

The Santa Clara County District Attorney's Office said top executives of San Francisco-based Implantium submitted fraudulent invoices for spinal implants sought by government employees in order to receive compensation far beyond the cost of the medical devices.

KCBS' Matt Bigler Reports:

Implantium CEO Trudy Maurer and Tigram Shahsuvarya, the firm's medical director, each face nine felony fraud charges in connection with the scheme.

The firm buys implant devices from manufacturers and supplies them to hospitals, where they are implanted into the backs of injured workers.

Implantium bills workers' compensation insurance carriers for the devices and is allowed by law to make $250 profit per device.

Prosecutors say invoices were altered up to tens of thousands of dollars.

Maurer and Shahsuvarya have yet to enter pleas. The charges carry up to 13 years in prison and $450,000 in fines.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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