Rego Park podiatrist gets one year in prison for committing Medicare fraud

Doctor with handcuffs and money. Medical crime
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A Rego Park podiatrist was sentenced for billing Medicare for services that he didn’t provide and submitting bills under other doctors’ names for a higher reimbursement, prosecutors announced Friday.

Melville resident Hal Abrahamson, 57, pleaded guilty to health care fraud in connection to his podiatry practice, which had offices in Rego Park and Plainview, on June 26, 2018. He was sentenced to one year and a day in prison and was also ordered to pay restitution of $869,651, pay a $50,000 fine and forfeit $177,000.

“Greed dictated this doctor’s billing practices,” said United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue. “The defendant stole a million dollars from Medicare and private insurance companies but has been brought to justice.”

According to court documents, Abrahamson committed his healthcare fraud scheme from January 2013 until January 2017. During this time, Abrahamson billed for skin grafts and wound packing services he never performed. Charges say that Abrahamson billed for the skin graft procedure 1,092 times over the four-year period. By comparison, in the same period, a podiatrist with a similar practice in Plainview billed for the same procedure only once, while another podiatrist in Abrahamson’s office billed for it only five times.

Abrahamson also billed for the wound packing procedure 757 over the four-year period, often billing this under another podiatrist’s name.

Charges also say that Abrahamson billed for work that was said to be done by another podiatrist whose reimbursement rate was higher, but which was in fact done by Abrahamson, or not at all, and billed for more expensive procedures than those actually performed.

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