Psychiatrist Sentenced to 30 Months for Medicare Fraud

ist1_5514174_dictionary_series_psychology_psychiatry.jpgCheck this out. Usually you would think of a psychiatrist as being someone who treats patients who suffer from auditory or visual hallucinations. However, an Illinois psychiatrist is headed to federal prison for two and a half years for defrauding Medicare of $1.75 million for submitting bills to Medicare for patients he never saw.
According to the <a href="indictment, Dr. Ajit Trikha (ah-JEET’ TREEK’-ah) a 55-year-old psychiatrist pleaded guilty last June in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis to two counts of health care fraud. Trikha submitted bills to Medicare for reimbursement claiming that he had therapy sessions with patients, when in truth he never met the patient and in some instances was out of the country on vacation. He also billed for group-therapy sessions that far exceeded the 12-person limit set by Medicare and Medicaid.
Additionally, the indictment specifically alleged that the doctor and his medical practice “regularly submitted claims with [erroneous] . . . codes when spending little or no time with the patient rather than approximately 20 to 30 minutes face-to-face with the patient as required by 08 17, or approximately 45 to 50 minutes face-to-face with the patient as required by 9081. TRIKHA and TRX also submitted claims with these codes for visits with patients who were not able to communicate verbally at all.”
A federal judge has ordered Trikha to reimburse the government for the money he bilked.