July 21, 2020

San Francisco Dr. Parvez Fatteh has agreed to pay $400,000 to resolve allegations that he violated the False Claims Act by charging Medicare for physical and occupational therapy performed by unlicensed people, the US Attorney’s Office announced in San Francisco on Friday.

Dr. Fatteh owned and operated San Francisco Pain Management and Physical Therapy, which operated under the name Total Health Plus, a clinic that provided physical and occupational therapy and chiropractor services.

“Patients are entitled to receive care from licensed providers. When Medicare pays for patient services, it expects that the treating providers are properly licensed as required by the State. Billing Medicare to pay for services rendered by unlicensed providers is fraud upon Medicare and upon the American taxpayers,” said U.S. Attorney David L. Anderson.

“Patients expect their providers be properly credentialed, having proven to the State they have the skills needed to provide high quality care,” said Steven J. Ryan, Special Agent in Charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “Along with our law enforcement partners we will continue working to protect government health plan beneficiaries and taxpayers supporting their care.”

“Healthcare fraud is not a victimless crime. Medical professionals who fraudulently bill our government’s healthcare programs are stealing from taxpayers and robbing vulnerable patients of necessary medical care,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Bennett. “The FBI and our law enforcement partners will continue to thoroughly investigate white collar crimes such as fraud in our healthcare system.”

This case started out as a whistleblower lawsuit. The whistleblower, Hercules Malabanan, will receive fifteen percent of the settlement.

The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability. The settlement is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Source: Patch