Indian-American doctor indicted for USD 1 million Medicare fraud in Chicago

The doctor used some of his patients' names without their knowledge to submit fraudulent claims.

Washington: An Indian-American doctor in Chicago has been indicted on federal fraud charges for allegedly pocketing nearly USD 1 million in payments from Medicare and a private insurer for non-existent treatment.

The 12-count indictment alleges that Dr Pranav Patel, who owned and operated Palos Medical Care in a Chicago suburb, submitted fraudulent claims for purported medical tests and examinations that were never performed.

He allegedly used some of his patients’ names without their knowledge to submit fraudulent claims, federal prosecutors said on Friday.

From 2008 to 2013, Dr Patel fraudulently obtained, or caused his clinic to obtain, at least USD 950,000 in payments from Medicare and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois, the indictment states.

The indictment was returned on Thursday in US District Court in Chicago. It charges Dr Patel, 51, with seven counts of health care fraud, three counts of making false statements in relation to a health care matter, and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

His arraignment is set for May 15.

The indictment describes several instances in which Dr Patel submitted a claim to BCBS or Medicare for a non-invasive “duplex scan” purportedly performed on a patient, when, in fact, no such test was actually completed.

On at least one occasion, according to the charges, Dr Patel prepared a seven-page electronic medical record indicating that a patient had come to the office for a follow-up visit and examination, when the patient had actually come to the office to re-fill a prescription, it alleged.

( Source : PTI )
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