NEWTOWN, Conn. -- A Newtown psychiatrist, accused of false billing practices, will have to fork over more than $400,000 and be monitored for three years, according to Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen.
Dr. Naimentulla Syed, who has a practice in nearby Danbury, did not admit liability in making the settlement with the state and federal governments, Jepsen said Wednesday.
Syed agreed to a cash payment of $401,865.71 to the state and federal governments to resolve the False Claims Act allegations.
He will also have to forfeit $20,775.99 in funds the state withheld while the accusations were being investigated.
The state's share of the settlement proceeds is $185,830.66.
The psychiatrist will also have to report on his compliance with Medicare and Medicaid rules to the attorney general’s office once a year for three years.
When the alleged fraud occurred, Syed was a behavioral health and psychiatric services provider with the Connecticut Medical Assistance Program, Jepsen said.
Syed was accused of illegally “upcoding” claims sent to the state Department of Social Services.
This meant, Jepsen said, that Syed knowingly using higher-paying codes on patient claims to reflect more expensive services, procedures or devices than were actually used or medically necessary.
The alleged fraud took place from 2009-13, Jepsen said.
According to the attorney general, Syed claimed to have provided Medicaid and Medicare patients with 45 minutes or more of face-to-face psychotherapy when, in fact, he had only provided 30 minutes or less of therapy.
The claims also said he had provided a medical evaluation and management service, when he actually hadn’t, Jepsen said.
"Improper billing practices involving our Medicaid program will not be tolerated," Jepsen said.
"We are vigilant in working with our federal and state law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute fraudulent and abusive conduct, and we will continue to work to hold accountable those who seek to defraud and overcharge our taxpayer-funded health care programs."
Editor's note: A photo previously posted with this story was not of Dr. Syed.
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