New York: An Indian-origin dentist in the US is among five other physicians who have agreed to pay USD 250,000 for not rendering pediatric dental services and making false claims in a government funded programme to help poor children.
As part of the settlement agreement Akhil Reddy, Christopher Steven Villanueva, Trung Minh Tang, Mauricio Dardano, Gabriel Shahwan agreed to pay USD 250,000 each to resolve the governments’ claims against them individually.
They are owners or part owners of MB2 and the dental practices included in this settlement, and practice dentistry in Texas. Frank Villanueva, MB2’s head of marketing, also will pay USD 100,000 to resolve his alleged personal liability, the US Justice Department said.
“The settlement demonstrates our unwavering commitment to protect the Medicaid programme and the patients it serves from unscrupulous providers,” said US Attorney Parker.
“Providers who waste taxpayer dollars by billing for services that were not provided, or were otherwise improper, will be held accountable,” Parker said.
As part of this settlement, MB2 have entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement (CIA) with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).
This settlement resolves allegations that between January 2009, and December 2014, MB2 and affiliated dental practices submitted claims to the Texas Medicaid Fee for Service Program for single-surface fillings in children that were not provided.
Medicaid is funded jointly by the states and the federal government. The state of Texas paid for part of the Medicaid claims at issue and will receive approximately half of the settlement amount.
This settlement illustrates the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and marks another achievement for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced in May 2009 by the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Justice Department said.
The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act, it said.
Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a total of more than USD 31.8 billion through False Claims Act cases, with more than USD 19.3 billion of that amount recovered in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs.