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Former Omaha doctor faces possible sanctions for fraud

Former Omaha doctor faces possible sanctions for fraud

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Author and former Nebraska physician Richard M. Fleming faces possible sanctions to his medical license following convictions for health care fraud and mail fraud.

Fleming, formerly of the Fleming Heart and Health Institute in Omaha, lives in Reno, Nev.

A cardiologist who has appeared on national news programs, Fleming also garnered state scrutiny in 2004 following leaks from a medical examiner's report into the death of Dr. Robert Atkins, founder of the famed Atkins' Diet.

The New York City medical examiner's office filed a complaint against Fleming after a group with which he was affiliated said Atkins, comatose following a head injury from a fall on the ice, was obese at the time of his death. The examiner's office then said it erroneously sent Fleming the report.

Fleming is the author of "Stop Inflammation Now!" "The Diet Myth, Keeping Your Heart Forever Young" and "How to Bypass Your Bypass."

According to complaints filed by Nebraska and Iowa, Fleming was sentenced to five years of probation and six months of electronically monitored home confinement, and he was ordered to pay $107,244 in restitution after pleading guilty in August to one count each of health care fraud and mail fraud.

Fleming admitted that in 2002 he billed Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Nebraska for falsely represented medical tests.

In 2004, Fleming admitted, he submitted false data after being paid to perform a clinical study on the health benefits of a soy chip food product.

A state licensure hearing regarding his convictions was March 24, said a spokeswoman with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services. An order against Fleming's inactive medical license, if issued, could take as long as six weeks to be announced.

A similar licensure hearing is set in April before the board of medicine in Iowa, where Fleming's license was active until Feb. 1.



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