New York: A 61-year-old Indian-origin medical biller has been arrested for stealing more than USD 1 million from doctors who provided medical care to injured workers in New York, according to the Attorney General’s Office here.
Amrish Patel and his two companies — Medlink Services and Medlink Partners — were charged on Wednesday with 27 felony counts for the thefts they allegedly committed from January 2012 through January 2019, New York Attorney General Letitia James announced.
Patel and the companies were charged with one count of insurance fraud in the first degree, one count of grand larceny in the first degree, one count of grand larceny in the second degree, one count of grand larceny in the third degree, one count of scheme to defraud in the first degree, 11 counts of falsifying business records in the first degree and 11 counts of workers’ compensation fraud.
He was released with electronic monitoring and a USD 100,000 bond, according to the New York Attorney General’s Office.
Patel, who provided billing services to a Brooklyn-based orthopaedic surgery practice, submitted falsified claim forms to the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) to steal at least USD 1.1 million in workers’ compensation reimbursements for himself.
“Doctors and health care professionals provide crucial care to our communities, and they rely on accurate and ethical billing to sustain these services and ensure our wellbeing,” said Attorney General James.
“When money is illegally diverted away from doctors and providers, all New Yorkers suffer as a result. Fraud of any kind will never go unchecked in our state, and my office will continue to use every measure to hold accountable those who seek to cheat New Yorkers for personal gain. I thank our partners for their invaluable support and collaboration on this case,” James.
“Fraud in any part of the workers’ compensation system is detrimental to trust and hurts the entire system, including medical providers, carriers, businesses, and injured workers,” said New York State Insurance Fund Executive Director and CEO Gaurav Vasisht.
“I am thankful for the collaboration of the Attorney General and Inspector General’s offices on this investigation,” Vasisht.
“Workers’ compensation fraud is not a victimless crime,” said New York State Inspector General Lucy Lang.
“The defendant compromised the integrity of this crucial safety net when he took advantage of his trusted position to ensure accurate billing for medical providers and health insurers. I am grateful to the Office of the Attorney General and the New York State Insurance Fund for their partnership in rooting out this fraud.”
Starting in 2011, Patel and his companies handled billing services for a Brooklyn-based orthopaedic surgery practice and were responsible for submitting billing for surgeries related to work-related injuries under the New York State Workers’ Compensation Law.
Under the law, authorised providers are reimbursed for their treatment of injured workers by the insurance carrier for the employer.
In total, Patel allegedly stole at least USD 1.1 million in payments originally intended for three doctors for services provided between January 1, 2012 and January 4, 2019.
Patel was arraigned on January 3 in Albany City Court. He was later released with electronic monitoring and a USD 100,000 bond.