Podiatrist investigated for potential fraud and improper billing (Florida)

A Florida state review committee recommended Tuesday that Florida podiatrist, John Lanham, DPM, be investigated for potential fraud and for possibly violating a state order meant to regulate his billing practices and other professional behavior.

The Public Investigator first wrote about Dr. John S. Lanham in November 2007 after discovering that he billed his patients much more than the average doctor. In one case, he billed $1,700 for medicine that costs $15 or less. A former patient reported receiving a $4,500 bill for treatment that most podiatrists say costs a few hundred dollars.

Over the past year, the complaints about Dr. Lanham have continued to be sent in to the Public Investigator Team. The State Department of Regulation and

Licensing has also received complaints about the podiatrist. The state declined to specify how many complaints have been received because some are currently being investigated.

Lanham had his license to practice podiatry suspended in 2006 after state investigators said he submitted false bills and false claims to insurance companies. According to a final decision and order filed by the state, the state also found that the podiatrist billed for procedures he did not perform.

Despite settling with the state, Lanham denied that he knowingly submitted false claims for payment. However, according to the stipulation, he had acknowledged that he had "reckless coding errors in his billings. He has been required to have an outside monitoring firm check up on his billing practices for the past two years. The monitoring firm then reports its findings to the state podiatry review committee.