BAY COUNTY, Fla. - 4 years ago, an FBI raid of a local dermatology clinic caught the attention of the community.
However, in recent weeks, federal agents contacted the practice letting them know the case was now closed. Shortly following Hurricane Michael, staff at Dermatology Specialists of Florida were notified officially by their attorneys that a 4 year-long investigation into their practice had been closed.
Federal agents notified them that they will be returning 300 boxes of items confiscated in a raid conducted back in December of 2014.
"The more health care you provide, the more likely you are to be scrutinized," said Dermatologist at Dermatology Specialists of Florida, Jon Ward. Ward has been at the facility since before the FBI raid happened. He said it was unexpected and negatively impacted their business.
"It did have an impact on us, and we took what the appropriate business steps were. It's always looking forward, not looking back," said Ward. Thankfully, loyal customers stayed with the business.
"They came back because they had not witnessed any of that, of the things that were maybe in the news," said Ward. He went on to say they didn't want the investigation to interrupt their business, and that focusing on patients during the situation remained their number one priority.
"We were confident the entire time that once the investigation was complete, it would be over and it would be minimal consequences. In this case, we actually had no penalties at all, which is practically unheard of," said Ward.
Dermatology Specialists of Florida is one of largest non-hospital based employers that provides health care in the area. He said because of this, they fit the profile for an investigation.
"They did not ever specify what exactly the investigation was. But typically, with a health care company, it would be related to Medicare fraud and abuse because that is a huge problem that we have in America and they focus on large health care companies," he said.
The FBI refused to make any comment on the investigation and did not clarify what it was they were looking for. With the case closed and no penalties, Ward said he's glad it's all finally over.
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