‘Indian American doctor admits part in healthcare scheme fraud’

Healthwire Bureau

New Delhi, January 30: An Indian-American doctor and his associate admitted their roles in a conspiracy to bill federal insurance programmes and private health insurance companies over two million dollars for services fraudulently claimed to have been provided by a licensed medico.

Parminderjeet Sandhu, 66, of New Jersey and Paramjit Singh, 62, of Ohio pleaded guilty before US District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton federal court to conspiracy to commit health care fraud, the US Attorney’s Office in New Jersey said in a press statement. The two will be sentenced in April. Under terms of the plea agreement, both will be sentenced to 18 months in prison.

In addition, Sandhu and Singh have each agreed to pay USD 1.1 million in restitution as well as forfeit a similar amount. US Attorney Craig Carpenito said Sandhu defrauded Medicare, US’ national health insurance programme, and private insurers “and, worse, put his patients at risk” by allowing those patients to be treated by Singh, who had lost his medical license.

FBI Newark Special Agent in Charge Gregory Ehrie said Sandhu put his patients at risk while defrauding them as well as their insurers.

According to the documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from August 2014 through October 2017, Sandhu and Singh caused USD 2.2 million to be billed to Medicare and private health insurance companies for health services claimed to have been provided by Sandhu. In reality, those services were actually performed by Singh, whom Sandhu had hired to treat patients, despite knowing that he had lost his license to practice medicine anywhere in the US.

Sandhu issued prescriptions, including for opioids, in his name for patients seen by Singh, even though Sandhu never met with them.

As a result of the conspiracy, Sandhu’s medical practice was paid USD 1.1 million for treatment fraudulently provided by Singh.

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