TUSCALOOSA, Ala. (WHNT) — A Huntsville man has pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud charges according to U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona.
The U.S. attorney’s office announced Friday that John Hornbuckle, 52, of Huntsville has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud and one count of conspiracy to receive kickbacks.
The office said that between 2012 and 2018 Hornbuckle was involved in a scheme with James Ewing Ray, 51 of Gadsden, who also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.
The attorney’s office said Ray owned a company called Integrity Medical, LLC, a company through which he marketed healthcare items and services to medical providers.
According to Ray’s plea agreement, he conspired with others to pay and receive kickbacks to get medical providers to issue medically unnecessary prescriptions along with medical goods and services which were billed to Medicare and other health insurers.
The attorney’s office said one of those services was electro-diagnostic testing provided by Honbuckle’s company, QBR.
According to Hornbuckle’s plea agreement, QBR billed insurers millions of dollars for testing that were performed regardless of medical need. The office also said Hornbuckle also caused QBR to pay medical providers a per-patient fee for the tests which were reimbursed by insurers.
Hornbuckle and Ray’s cases are related to another case that resulted in the conviction of Tennessee Dr. Mark Murph, 65, and his wife Jennifer Murphy, 65, in February. The two owned and operated North Alabama Pain Services in Decatur and Madison.
The U.S attorney said that according to court documents and evidence presented at trial, the Murphys took kickbacks from QBR of more than a million dollars, and in return, Murphy ordered electro-diagnostic tests from QBR for his patients.
The maximum penalty for kickback conspiracy is five years in prison. The maximum penalty for healthcare fraud conspiracy is ten years in prison.
Sentencing dates for Ray and Hornbuckle have not yet been scheduled.