Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center To Pay $600K For False Billings To The New York State Medicaid Program
July 30, 2014
Schneiderman: My Office Will Remain Vigilant To Protect Our Most Vulnerable Citizens And New York Taxpayers
(NEW YORK) Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced that New York State and the federal government have entered into a $600,000 settlement agreement with Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center to resolve allegations that the diagnostic and treatment center ran a satellite facility, the Whitman Ingersoll Farragut Health Center, without an operating certificate. The settlement also resolves allegations that Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center disguised the satellite facility’s Medicaid billings to make them appear as if the services were rendered at the Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, not the satellite center. Those fraudulent billings caused the Medicaid program to offer inflated reimbursements for services rendered. The settlement money will go to reimburse the State of New York and the federal government for their contributions to the New York State Medicaid Program.
“My office will find those who skirt safeguards built into our healthcare system, including for key programs that provide critical services to our neediest neighbors. Stopping the abuse and misuse of Medicaid and taxpayer dollars is a priority for my office,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “We will enforce New York laws against fraud to help ensure that all New Yorkers, including the sick among us, are protected.”
Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman in June 2014 announcing an unrelated case in Manhattan. Photo credit: AG official website.
The agreement resolves allegations that Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center, in violation of New York State and federal false claims acts, submitted thousands of fraudulent claims for services rendered at the Whitman Ingersoll Farragut Health Center to the New York Medicaid program from January 1, 2001, through January 9, 2013. The claims were false because they were filed as if they had been rendered at Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center and were billed at the higher rate provided to BPMC, which the uncertified Whitman Ingersoll Farragut Health Center was not entitled to receive.
As outlined in the settlement papers, Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center operated the Whitman Ingersoll Farragut Health Center as if it were a fully certified satellite office, despite the fact that Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center never obtained an operating certificate for the satellite facility. Without an operating certificate issued by the New York State Department of Health, the Whitman Ingersoll Farragut Health Center could not bill Medicaid at the rate that had been negotiated between Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center and the State of New York.
Brooklyn Plaza Medical Center provides family medicine services to an underserved population and operates two satellite facilities. One of them is the Whitman Ingersoll Farragut Health Center, located at 297 Myrtle Avenue, which provides primary care services to people living in local housing developments.
The settlement is based on a whistleblower lawsuit brought in 2010 pursuant to the New York State and federal false claims acts and filed in the Eastern District of New York. Attorney General Schneiderman thanks the whistleblower and the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of New York for their assistance and cooperation throughout this investigation.
The investigation was conducted by Special Auditor Investigator Deowattie Persaud.
The case was handled by Special Assistant Attorney General Jacob Bergman of the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The unit is led by Acting Director Amy Held. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Executive Deputy Attorney General Kelly Donovan.