New York MD Settles COVID Fraud Case

A New York doctor has become the latest to learn that the government is serious about cracking down on those who take advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic. Dr. Josef Schenker and two of the urgent care facilities that he owns agreed to pay more than $564,000 to resolve allegations that they submitted false claims to Medicare for services not provided during the administration of COVID-19 vaccines and tests.

According to an investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, between July 2020 and December 2021, Dr. Schenker used CPT codes indicating that he had conducted detailed exams of patients during mid-level and high-level evaluations, when in reality he only provided a COVID-19 vaccine or test.

Dr. Schenker is an emergency medicine specialist in Brooklyn, NY. He owns Josef Schenker M.D., P.C. and Care Partners Medical Management LLC. He also serves as Medical Director at Centers Urgent Care, which last year was accused of over-diluting 16,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine following allegations by a former employee, according to published reports.

The resolution of the case follows a recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice of a nationwide coordinated law enforcement action to combat healthcare-related COVID-19 fraud.

As we wrote about, criminal charges were filed against 21 people in nine federal districts for their alleged participation in various schemes that exploited the pandemic to the tune of $149 million. Cities involved include Miami and Port Saint Lucie.

Last June, DOJ announced the creation of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in response to the growing number of healthcare-related COVID-19 fraud cases. In fact, just months into the pandemic, government agencies were sounding the alarm COVID-related fraud was becoming a concern.

Such fraud has ranged from the exploitation of telehealth regulations eased during the pandemic to claims being submitted for medically unnecessary, and far more expensive laboratory tests, including cancer genetic testing, allergy testing, and respiratory pathogen panel tests under the guise of COVID.

The Health Law Offices of Anthony C. Vitale can assist you should you become the target of a healthcare fraud investigation. For more information contact us at 305-358-4500 or email info@vitalehealthlaw.com.

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