When you think of surveillance, a non-descript white van or black sedan with tinted windows parked by the curb might come to mind. While a story reported in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle doesn’t exactly give details on how the surveillance was conducted, however, it was certainly useful in providing convincing evidence that a licensed psychiatrist was not providing constant care to his Medicare patients as claimed.
The story states that over a seven-year period, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA)-employed psychiatrist submitted claims to Medicare stating that he made home medical visits seven days a week, 365-days a year. That didn’t include the time that he put in at the VA. (Now that’s what I call a very hard working doctor.)
Evidently, the claims made by the 55-year-old man piqued the interest of the Department of Health and Human Services, so they set up surveillance outside of his apartment. According to the article, the doctor did not leave his home once he arrived home from his eight-hour a day job at the VA. This fact negates the claim that he supposedly saw an average of 14.66 patients per day, after he got home from work. Assuming he spent at least 30 minutes with each patient, that means he would have worked a 15-hour day. (Talk about burnout.) The surveillance also provided proof that the doctor was out of town during the time he claimed to provide house calls to his patients.
The man was sentenced to 18 months in prison for his fraudulent activities. He will also serve three years of supervised release and pay $1.2 million in restitution to Medicare. (That seems a bit lenient for someone who received more than $2.8 million from the false claims.)
This fraudster blatantly took advantage of his veteran patients, who were entitled to the hard-earned benefits because of their military service. Instead of providing legitimate mental health care, he selfishly pocketed money he did not deserve. In the process, he robbed beneficiaries of treatment they deserved. Perhaps while serving out his prison sentence, the doctor will get what he deserves – some intense counseling to rehabilitate his corrupt and selfish tendencies.