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Advocate staff photo by BILL FEIG -- The former billing supervisor of Louisiana Spine & Sports Medicine, shown here at 4545 Bluebonnet Blvd., has been ordered in federal court to pay more than $200,000 in restitution in a fraud case.

The former owner of a Baton Rouge pain management clinic pleaded guilty Wednesday to a federal health care fraud charge.

Dr. John Eastham Clark, who owned Louisiana Spine & Sports off Bluebonnet Boulevard, and Charlene Severio, who was the clinic's billing supervisor, were accused by a federal grand jury in 2017 of falsely telling Medicare and Blue Cross Blue Shield that minor surgical procedures happened the day after an office visit so the clinic could be reimbursed for both the visit and the procedure. Federal prosecutors allege that resulted in nearly $516,000 in fraudulent claims over 10 years.

Clark's attorney, John McLindon, said Wednesday that Clark provided the services in question but the doctor acknowledges he put the wrong dates on the documents submitted to Medicare.

"He accepts responsibility for that. We will show at a future hearing why he did this," McLindon said. "We are confident we will prove that Medicare did not lose any money as a result of his actions."

Clark will be sentenced at a later date by Chief U.S. District Judge Shelly Dick.

Severio's case is pending.


Follow Joe Gyan Jr. on Twitter, @JoeGyanJr.