The Kings County District Attorney's Office has teamed up with federal officials to crack down on healthcare fraud, and has developed a collaborative effort to prosecute those who swindle funds from Medicaid and Medicare.
On Monday, District Attorney Charles Hynes announced that local prosecutors and city agencies will combine their efforts with the federal Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General and the United States Attorney's Office to investigate and prosecute doctors, pharmacists and patients who commit fraud against city, state and federal healthcare funds.
A new Healthcare Fraud Division has been created within the D.A.'s office to handle cases generated by the collaboration, Hynes explained.
"For years I have wanted to go after crooked providers but lacked the resources to handle such cumbersome investigations, so when Senator [Charles] Schumer suggested combining my efforts with those of the federal authorities, I was glad for the opportunity," D.A. Hynes said.
The collaboration came as Hynes announced the indictment of Dr. Naveed Ahmad, a Brooklyn-based physician charged with billing Medicaid for more than $455,000 and Medicare more than $10,000 in unnecessary procedures and prescriptions.
However, Hynes said, an ongoing investigation could lead to additional charges as records indicate that Ahmad may have fraudulently billed Medicare for an additional $2 million and Medicaid an additional $716,000 for procedures and $7 million for prescriptions.
Ahmad was charged with getting patients through "steerers" who would pay Medicaid and Medicare recipients up to $300 to visit the doctor, bill their health plans and then fill prescriptions, which they then turned over to the steerers.
Ahmad allegedly would prescribe HIV medication to his patients without any examination. The medication would would then be sold on the black market to actual HIV patients or sold on a "grey market," to wholesalers who would then sell the medication back to pharmacies for a profit.
"One unscrupulous and greedy doctor can singlehandedly drain millions in tax dollars," said Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan, who announced the indictment with Hynes.
"But beyond the financial cost, a doctor violates his oat and creates a grave threat to the public's health when he knowingly mishandles medications, such as those prescribed to HIV patients."
Bills also were submitted for services that weren't performed.
Two undercover Human Resources Administration investigators posed as Medicaid patients as part of a three-year inquest and visited Ahmad in his 5004 Snyder Ave. office.
One investigator was prescribed HIV medication without ever being tested for HIV. The other investigator told Ahmad he was not HIV-positive but also was prescribed HIV medication.