LI doctor charged in COVID-19 healthcare fraud scheme: DOJ (ICYMI)

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on Thursday, April 21, 2022.

GREAT NECK, NY — A Long Island cardiologist was indicted Tuesday on federal charges, accused of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $1.3 million during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Federal prosecutors say Perry Frankel — owner and operator of Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics PLLC in Great Neck — submitted claims to the programs for office visits that were never made for patients who underwent COVID-19 testing.

Frankel, 64, was not always present during those office visits, which took place at his company’s mobile testing sites on Long Island, authorities said.

“As alleged, exploiting a public health crisis by using patients who received COVID-19 tests at mobile testing sites to fraudulently bill Medicare and Medicaid for sham office visits is wrong,” said Breon Peace, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York. . “This Bureau and our law enforcement partners will vigorously pursue those who take advantage of the pandemic to steal from taxpayer-funded programs.”

Frankel was charged with three counts of health care fraud. He pleaded not guilty in federal court in Central Islip on Wednesday afternoon and was ordered released on an unsecured bond of $250,000, according to Newsday.

The charges against Central Islip are part of a larger coordinated campaign by US law enforcement to crack down on health care fraud in nine federal districts, authorities say. The effort, led by the Medicare Fraud Strike Force, resulted in criminal charges against 21 defendants related to COVID-19 and involving more than $149 million in false and fraudulent claims.

In a statement released Wednesday, a federal agent accused Frankel of profiting from the COVID-19 pandemic, undermining the US healthcare system and wasting taxpayer dollars.

“As alleged, Frankel took advantage of the COVID-19 health crisis to engage in a fraud scheme that undermined our health care system and the people it serves,” said Scott Lampert, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of health and social services. of the Inspector General. “Such scams waste taxpayers’ money and increase healthcare costs for all of us.”

Frankel’s attorney, Timothy Sini, called Frankel a respected cardiologist who saved lives by providing lifesaving mobile medical screenings to New York communities, according to reports.

“The government, as part of a larger initiative, is targeting health care providers who may have taken advantage of the pandemic to get away with it financially,” Sini, the former Suffolk County prosecutor, said in a statement. press release obtained by the media.

“Nothing could be further from the truth here – Dr Frankel provided a much needed service during a public health crisis and an extremely difficult time.

“It is unfortunate that the government’s claims seek to undermine the positive nature of Dr. Frankel’s work. We look forward to pursuing justice for Dr. Frankel and clearing his name in the medical community.”

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