Bethesda doctor and his companies told to repay $17 million in fraudulent claims -- Gazette.Net


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A Bethesda doctor and two companies he owns have been ordered to pay the state and federal governments more than $17 million for submitting false or fraudulent claims to health care programs, according to the Maryland Attorney General’s Office.

Last year, the federal government sued Dr. Ishtiaq A. Malik and two companies he owns — Ishtiaq A. Malik M.D., P.C., and Advanced Nuclear Diagnostics, P.C., operating in Washington, D.C. Maryland and the District of Columbia joined the suit.

The Maryland attorney general’s office said in a July 31 news release that the lawsuit resulted from illegal claims for payment to Medicaid, Medicare and other government health care programs in connection with cardiac nuclear stress tests.

An investigation revealed that Malik had double-billed for some services, submitted claims for additional services not related to the provided treatment and billed for services never provided, the news release said.

Malik and his companies also engaged in a practice known as unbundling — billing separately for procedures that are part of another service for which they also billed in full, according to the attorney general’s office.

U.S. District Court Judge Robert Wilkins ordered Malik and his companies to pay penalties of $5,500 for each false claim submitted to a government health care program, totaling $1,672,000. Maryland’s share of that amount has yet to be determined.

Additionally, the federal government will receive three times the fraudulent claims submitted, totaling more than $15 million. The District’s Medicaid Program also will receive triple damages, totaling more than $390,000.

Malik and his companies were ordered to pay Maryland $305,151.24, triple the amount of improperly billed services reimbursed by the Maryland Medicaid Program. Maryland’s False Claims Act provides for triple damages in certain Medicaid fraud actions.

Frederick Cooke, Malik’s lawyer, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday

A call to a number listed for Malik in federal court records was not answered.



sjbsmith@gazette.net