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A PT pleads guilty to almost 12 million in false claims to Medicare for unnecessary or non-existent physical therapy services.
A New York-based physical therapist (PT) - Aleksandr Kharkover - faces up to 50 years in prison after pleading guilty to an indictment charging him with five counts of healthcare fraud, according to a recent announcement by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
Over a five-year period (between January 2005 and July 2010), the physical therapist caused the submission of roughly $11.9 million in false and fraudulent claims to Medicare for physical therapy services that weren’t performed and were not medically necessary, DOJ indicated. What’s more, Kharkover hired non-certified therapy assistants to provide services to Medicare beneficiaries.
The accused faces a maximum of 10 years in prison for each count of health care fraud; however his sentencing has not been scheduled as yet.
The case was brought as part of the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, the DOJ noted. Since March 2007, Medicare Fraud Strike Force operations in nine locations have charged more than 1,000 defendants who have collectively billed the Medicare program for more than $3.2 billion. That aside, the HHS CMS, working in tandem with the HHS-OIG, are taking steps to increase accountability and bring down the presence of fraudulent providers.