Corporate Compliance

NJ surgeon, manager, and treatment center charged in $8.5M fraud case

Compliance Monitor, July 22, 2009

On July 13, a New Jersey grand jury indicted Khashayar Salartash M.D., his office manager, Farah Iranipour Houtan, and the treatment center owned by Salartash, The Center for Lymphatic Disorders LLC, for misrepresenting services and defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and private insurance companies out of $8.5 million, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) release.
 
According to the DOJ, between August 2002 and June 2007 the defendants submitted claims stating Salartash had either personally provided services or directly supervised licensed personnel who rendered services. However, a physical therapist, a licensed practical nurse, or a massage therapist performed the services with essentially no supervision, according to the DOJ.
 
The defendants allegedly billed for surgery when they only rendered physical therapy services. Salartash also allegedly billed procedures performed in a doctor’s office as procedures performed in an outpatient hospital facility.
 
The Center for Lymphatic Disorders specialized in treating lymphedema, which is the blockage of the lymph vessels. The center also allegedly treated patients for time periods that were longer than what is considered medically necessary. A normal course of treatment for lymphedema is four weeks to 12 weeks. However, an auditor for the Medicaid program determined that the Center for Lymphatic Disorders treated most patients for between 1.5 years and 3 years.

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