Connecticut Psychiatrist Agrees to Repay the Feds over $3 million under False Claims Act

“…we will hold accountable providers who submit false claims to Medicare and receive payments to which they are not entitled.”

(Special Agent in Charge Phillip Coyne of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)

 

Medicare fraud US map

 

Dr. Bassam Awwa, educated in Syria and affiliated with Yale University has settled a claim by the government that he billed Medicare and Medicaid multiple times for the same test at his Connecticut Behavioral Health Associates, a clinic for substance abusers.

The news is here at the US Attorney’s Office Connecticut District.

I was looking to see if a whistleblower was going to get a reward for turning in the ‘new American’ doc under the False Claims Act, but don’t see that mentioned.

Continue reading “Connecticut Psychiatrist Agrees to Repay the Feds over $3 million under False Claims Act”

Florida Heart Doc Defrauded Taxpayers to the Tune of $2.2 Million

medicare-scamAnd, the same newspaper that reported the news from Davenport, Florida had praised him to the heavens just a couple years before in a glowing article about how much the first generation Pakistani doctor was giving back to the community.

Editor: I haven’t written a Medicare fraud story for two weeks, not since this story about the Colorado fugitive Pharmacist! But, I’m glad to focus on one this morning.  Maybe I like these stories because I’m a senior and see around me friends and acquaintances getting all sorts of tests and procedures that strike me as unnecessary and possibly harmful.

I’m also writing it because I like the fact that a 75-year-old patient tipped-off the feds and will be getting a big reward for turning him in!

So here is the story titled,

Davenport doctor settles health care fraud lawsuit for $2.2M

Continue reading “Florida Heart Doc Defrauded Taxpayers to the Tune of $2.2 Million”

Colorado Pharmacist on the Run after Bilking Medicare/Medicaid out of Nearly $8 Million

The Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office made former pharmacy owner George Sackey one of its featured fugitives of the week.

George Sackey

 

I did do some digging about Sackey and although nothing about his immigration status and nationality came up, there are many many Sackey’s originating in Ghana.

Here is a bit about Sackey and his “community” pharmacies at LinkedIn,

Free consulting services to the Colorado African population and the general public as a whole.

My goal is to provide as much help as possible to the underprivileged who otherwise may not be as fortunate and blessed as I’m (sic). It is also a way to give back to the community.

My suspicion is that Sackey is a ‘new American’ entrepreneur who has now apparently skipped the country after cutting off his ankle monitor.

Continue reading “Colorado Pharmacist on the Run after Bilking Medicare/Medicaid out of Nearly $8 Million”

Corporate Whistleblower Center Looking for Partners

How cool is this!  The entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well!

Regular readers know that I’ve been telling you about scams involving Medicare and Medicaid that are often perpetrated through long term care facilities for the elderly or disabled.

NURSING-HOME-FRAUD
Nursing home fraud on the rise:  http://civil-law.com/blog/nursing-home-fraud-studies-expose-little-known-risk/

 

And, I’ve told you that if you help the government find the fraud, you can make money if the government recovers funds stolen from taxpayers.

Now here comes a group banding together to go after this fraud with the lure of making money AND making yourself such a hero you could run for Congress!

That last part made me laugh because I’ve said on previous occasions that one could craft a whole campaign for elected office around the goal of exposing fraud, waste and abuse involving taxpayer dollars.

From PR Newswire,

Corporate Whistleblower Center Now Goes After Nursing Homes Ripping Off Medicare/Medicaid From California to Florida for Whistleblower Rewards and a Physician or Investor is Invited to Participate as a Partner-Become a Local Hero-Make Money

 

The Corporate Whistleblower Center says, “We have just launched our most ambitious initiative ever to go after nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities, rehab centers and or acute care facilities that are overbilling Medicare or Medicaid for services that were never performed, and we need some financial partners in some specific states. When we say ‘services never performed’ we are referring to facilities that are so understaffed their patients are prematurely dying. Short staffing is the foundation and starting point for our state specific whistleblower reward initiatives. While these types of healthcare facilities might be extremely understaffed-they are billing Medicare or Medicaid as if they are fully staffed.

“We are inviting a successful physician, dentist or an investor in one of our targeted states such as California, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois or Ohio to financially participate in this venture and to share in the whistleblower rewards. A medical doctor/dentist or investor who financially participates with us in one of the states we have mentioned could probably run for Congress in a couple years after the notoriety they will gain for their participation in our initiative as we would like to discuss with them anytime at 866-714-6466. We also want to emphasize this initiative is very focused on making certain our financial partners make money.”

Go here for more to see additional states the group plans to target!

Of course, I am not advocating for this new ‘business’ model just bringing you news you might find of interest.

question markYou know what you need to do, right!—keep an eye on granny (or any family member) who resides at a long term care facility to assure that they are being cared for properly and that there is no financial funny-business going on with Medicare or Medicaid. Report suspicions of fraud or medical abuse!

 

 

Massachusetts: Just Another ‘New American’ Doctor Caught Cheating Medicare/Medicaid

This is a story like so many and wouldn’t have been worth mentioning except that it was fun to find out a little bit about the perpetrator. 

medicaid fraud

The joke of course is that a story like this never mentions anything about the background of the alleged crook and as Ann Coulter said one needs a “secret decoder ring” to learn more about someone with a name like this one—-Dr. Hooshang Poor.

(I searched for a photo of Dr. Poor, but gave up.)

Below is the news of Dr. Poor’s settlement with the government over his Medicare/Medicaid fraud.

From Patch.com,

Newton Doctor Accused Of Fraud To Pay $680K In Settlement

 

NEWTON, MA – A Newton doctor has agreed to pay $680,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by submitting inflated claims to Medicare and the Massachusetts Medicaid program (MassHealth) for care to nursing home patients, the US Attorney’s Office and the Attorney General announced Thursday.

Mass Health logo

“This doctor stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from MassHealth – taking away health care resources for those who are most in need,” said Attorney General Maura Healey in a statement. “We will continue to take action to defend the integrity of MassHealth and protect Massachusetts residents.”

Hooshang Poor, who has been treating patients in long-term care facilities since 1987, was audited by MassHealth and the state in 2017. The government contends that, between June 1, 2011 and May 31, 2017, Poor submitted inflated claims for nursing home care by assigning false procedural codes that overstated the length, extent, and scope of services he and his employees furnished to nursing home residents, according to the government in the settlement agreement.

“Dr. Poor enriched himself at taxpayer expense by improperly billing Medicare and Medicaid,” said United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling in a statement.

The US Justice Department statement is here.

Then get this next charge.

He billed for services even while he was out of the country on ten trips!  My first thought was:  Did he take our taxpayer dollars abroad?

The audit also found that Poor billed MassHealth for more than $15,000 in services that took place while he was traveling abroad on 10 different occasions.

Dangerous drugs improperly administered!

The government said Poor did not establish proper guidelines for his staff to follow when prescribing medications to their patients and yet during the audit period, Poor’s nurse practitioner and physician’s assistant wrote 657 prescriptions, including 211 for narcotics such as fentanyl, oxycodone, and methadone.

 

More details here, but there is no mention of any jail time for Dr. Poor!

Who is this guy I wanted to know!

US News has a little bio for Dr. Poor and we learn he has been practicing medicine here for 20 years and received his medical training at Shiraz University of Medical Science.

That University is in Iran.  Is Dr. Poor a US citizen?  That is unclear.

We learn a few more nuggets of information at MyLife. We learn that he has used several aliases and that he is a Muslim.

Hooshang Poor is 68 years old today because Hooshang’s birthday is on 03/05/1950. Hooshang’s Reputation Score is 3.42. Before moving to Hooshang’s current city of Newton Center, MA, Hooshang lived in Sunny Isles Beach FL. Hooshang Dadkhahipoor, Hooshang Dadkhahi Poor, Hooshang Dadkhani-poor, Hoo Dadhahipoo and Hoshang D Poor are some of the alias or nicknames that Hooshang has used. Background details that you might want to know about Hooshang include: ethnicity is Caucasian, whose political affiliation is unknown; and religious views are listed as Muslim.

So, LOL! maybe the headline to the story should read, Muslim Doctor from Iran Rips off American Taxpayers.

Of course, that will never happen! But, I can dream can’t I?

I’m increasingly seeing stories about nursing home frauds that usually involve some issues of dangerous drugs being handled improperly, so are you keeping a close eye on loved ones in long term care facilities?

question markAnd one more thing, if you are looking for something to do, contact the reporter or editor of the paper when you see stories of obvious ‘new Americans’ committing crimes and ask why they aren’t telling us any background on the perp? 

 

Tennessee: Doctor/Pastor Indicted in Massive Drug Sting at Pain Clinic

Although the 45-count indictment occurred in December, good for The Tennessean to now publish this substantial story about a Nigerian ‘new American’ alleged crook.

Editor:  I should subtitle posts like this:  ‘when new Americans kill us!’

Here is the news (hat tip: Tomarose),

Tennessee pain clinic handed out opioids at ‘cattle calls’, says undercover federal agent

It was October 2017 when the undercover federal agent slipped into the Clarksville pain clinic for the third time, hiding in plain sight among dozens of patients crowded into a small waiting room.

A receptionist called out 20 names, then the agent lined up with other patients.

They were each handed a prescription slip. Then they waited. A few hours later, the receptionist called their names again, collected their money and handed all of them drugs.

The undercover agent paid $377. He left with 84 Oxycodone tablets, an anti-inflammation drug and a muscle relaxant. Nobody bothered to examine him. He never saw a doctor.

This is how federal prosecutors say prescriptions were handled at the clinic of Samson Orusa, a Middle Tennessee doctor and pastor who allegedly wrote 66,353 prescriptions for addictive drugs, including opioids, from 2014 to 2017.

Orusa was indicted on charges of drug trafficking and healthcare fraud last year, and his attorney has vowed to fight the allegations in court.

samson-and-abigail
Orusa, 56, has for about 20 years run a medical practice in Clarksville [50 miles Northwest of Nashville] and been pastor at God’s Sanctuary Church International, which he runs with his wife, Abigail, who uses the church title of “prophetess.” Orusa attended medical school at the University of Benin in Nigeria and performed his residency at Columbia University in New York, according to a state licensing database.

Federal court records, recently obtained by The Tennessean, describe the investigation in more detail than ever before, revealing undercover agents visited Orusa’s clinic five times in 2017.

Investigators also logged when Orusa came and went each day and filmed the clinic parking lot for three months.

And what they saw was alarming, court document state. Patients at Orusa’s clinic were rarely examined by the doctor and often prescribed opioids in large groups through what authorities refer to as “cattle calls.”

[….]

The newly obtained court documents also detail how Orusa allegedly profited from mass prescribing, collecting more than $1 million in cash during a six-month span in 2017. Prosecutors are currently trying to seize the contents of six personal bank accounts to which they say Orusa funneled more than $920,000 in illegal profits.

Most of that money came from drug sales, court documents state, but Orusa is also accused of defrauding the government by billing Medicare or Medicaid for examinations that he couldn’t possibly have done.

More here.

Some of the stories about Orusa allege that patients died of drug overdoses while under his ‘care.’

question markI can assure you that this type of practice is going on near you. Watch for it! If you have a friend or family member going to a pain clinic (especially one run by a foreign doctor), keep an eye on them and the clinic and don’t hesitate to turn in the doctor/clinic if you see something fishy.

 

 

 

Health and Human Service’s Fugitives from Justice: all New Americans?

This is a very cool website!

But, it shows what suckers we Americans are!

Below are the Top Ten fugitives from justice at the Office of Inspector General at the Dept. of Health and Human Services.

Some individually ripped-off Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of millions of dollars, collectively the number must exceed a billion.  HHS lists 170 who have escaped justice and are in hiding or have fled the country and returned to their home country.

What do you notice about the top ten?  All are foreigners who were in the US busily setting-up scam operations!

Top ten fugitives
This is a screenshot. Go to the website and click on the links beneath each picture to see what these foreign scammers stole from us and how they did it.  https://oig.hhs.gov/fraud/fugitives/

 

I looked up the ‘bios’ for a few of the top ten:

Slepak is in Russia.

Onajobi is in Nigeria.

Moreira is in Spain.

And, Tilong is in Cameroon.

Of course what I most want to know (but we are never told!) is how they got into the US (presumably legally!) in the first place!

I have said this before, but I am convinced someone could build an entire political campaign around finding and bringing to justice frauds, crooks and criminals.

By the way, if you are new to Frauds and Crooks, know that one fun thing to do is to use the language of the Left whenever you can.

One of their favorite phrases for you to co-opt is “new American!”  Watch for it, they (and their media lackeys) use it everywhere in place of the word “immigrant” or “refugee.”

The word “refugee” previously had a positive connotation, but got tainted over the last few years. Gee, I wonder why!

So, they needed new positive-sounding words, thus “new American.”

They never use the word “alien” and they sure don’t want to hear the word “foreigner.”

question markSo what do you do? Use the words “foreigner,” “alien” or “illegal alien” (or “illegal immigrant”) when appropriate and definitely have fun with “new American!”