A Huntsville doctor has been charged with a fraud that billed insurers more than $28 million for tests that were not needed.

Eric Beck, 63, has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. In a plea agreement also filed yesterday, Beck agreed to plead guilty to the information. A hearing has not yet been set.

According to the court filing, investigators say Beck caused health insurance programs to be billed for medically unnecessary electro-diagnostic testing.

The maximum penalty for conspiracy to commit health care fraud is five years in prison.

U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr., and Special Agent in Charge Tamala E. Miles of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, announced the deal. Beck has fully cooperated with the investigative team, officials said.

According to information filed yesterday in U.S. District Court, Beck operated Valley Center for Nerve Studies and Rehabilitation in Huntsville. According to investigators, Beck conspired with the owner of QBR, a Huntsville-based testing company, to bill insurers for electro-diagnostic testing that its technicians performed, regardless of whether there was a medical need. Beck billed insurers for tests using his National Provider Identifier number, even where he did not conduct the tests, supervise them or interpret the results.

The FBI and HHS-OIG investigated the case, and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Don Long and J.B. Ward are prosecuting the case.

This post was corrected at 1:28 p.m. April 8 to reflect that according to a court filing, Beck has agreed to plead guilty.


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