Podiatrist Charged With Bilking Medicaid; Billed Amputees with No Feet

severedfoot.jpg
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Dr. Pham, I presume?
At first glance a press release today from the U.S. Attorney's office looks like dozens of dull media alerts the prosecutor routinely sends out alleging Medicaid fraud.

Then I noticed this outrageous line in the release regarding podiatrist David Quang Pham of St. Louis and charges that the foot doctor filed bogus medical claims.
In some instances, Dr. Pham submitted reimbursement claims for treating the feet of patients, whose feet had been amputated prior to the dates of service.
Hmm. Sounds like a real mystery is afoot here!

Continue reading to learn more details about Dr. Pham via the U.S. Attoney's official release.

June 12, 2009
For Immediate Release

AREA PODIATRIST INDICTED ON HEALTH CARE FRAUD CHARGES

St. Louis, MO: Dr. David Quang Pham, DPM, was indicted on multiple fraud charges in connection with false billing to Medicare and Medicaid, Acting United States Attorney Michael W. Reap announced today.

According to the indictment, Dr. Pham submitted false claims and medical records to Medicare and Missouri HealthNet (Medicaid) for services that he provided from 2002 through 2008.  Dr. Pham, DPM, is a licensed doctor of podiatry and is a participating Medicare and Medicaid provider, who maintains an office at 2506 Pocahontas Avenue, St. Louis, MO.

The indictment alleges that Dr. Pham created treatment notes to reflect services that he had not provided and produced these treatment notes to Medicare and to agents of the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General during the course of their investigation. In some instances, Dr. Pham submitted reimbursement claims for treating the feet of patients, whose feet had been amputated prior to the dates of service.

Dr. Pham provided services to patients at nursing homes and residences for older adults, including Abbey Care Center, Alexian Court Apartments, Beverly Farm (IL), Claru Deville Nursing Center, Columbia Convalescent Center (IL), Creve Coeur Manor, Delmar Gardens of Chesterfield, Four Fountains Convalescent Center (IL), Grand Manor Nursing and Rehabilitation, Hillside Manor Healthcare and Rehab Center, Normandy Nursing Center, Ozark Manor Residential Care Center, Parkview Apartments, Rancho Manor Health Care and Rehab Center, Rosewood Care Center (IL), St. Paul's Home (IL), St. Elizabeth Healthcare, The Cedars at JCA, and University Forest Nursing Care Center.

Dr. David Quang Pham, DPM, 49, St. Louis, 63144, was indicted by a federal grand jury late Thursday on one felony count of health care fraud, twenty felony counts of making false statements concerning a healthcare benefit program, and one felony count of obstruction of a criminal investigation of health care offenses.  He is expected to appear in federal court today.

If convicted, the charges above carry the following maximum penalties per count:
  • Health Care Fraud, ten years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000;
  • False Statements Concerning a Health Care Benefit Program, five years prison and/or fines up to $250,000; and
  • Obstruction of Criminal Investigation of Health Care Offenses, five years prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
Reap commended the work on the case by the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and Assistant United States Attorney Dorothy McMurtry, who is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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