Tennessee senator denies claims he committed fraud at clinic

In this Nov. 8, 2016 file photo, Tennessee state Sen. Steve Dickerson addresses the media in Nashville, Tenn. Dickerson is among a group of healthcare executives accused of defrauding the government of over $25 million when they operated a now-shuttered pain clinic company. The lawsuit filed Monday by the United States and the state of Tennessee claims Dickerson and other principals of Comprehensive Pain Specialists submitted “thousands of false claims to federal and state funded health programs.” The company was based in Tennessee and operated clinics in twelve states before they closed suddenly last summer. (George Walker IV/The Tennessean via AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — A state senator is denying claims against him in a federal lawsuit that alleges he and other officials at a now-shuttered pain clinic company defrauded Medicare and Medicaid of more than $25 million.

In a filing Monday, Republican Sen. Steve Dickerson’s attorneys said he provided patients pain treatment he believed was medically necessary and clinically appropriate.

In a July complaint, federal and Tennessee authorities claim Comprehensive Pain Specialists, Dickerson and others submitted claims for unnecessary tests and services and falsified documents, defrauding the government.

It alleges Dickerson submitted more than 750 false claims, amounting to $4 million-plus in penalties.

The Nashville anesthesiologist co-owned the Tennessee-based company, which once operated in 12 states.

Dickerson’s attorneys wrote he relied on corporate compliance personnel and counsel about claims submission and other compliance issues.

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