Two psychiatrists and a health care marketer out of New Orleans are facing charges they worked together, along with a home care agency owner, to defraud Medicare and Medicaid. The owner of the home care agency pleaded guilty last year to their part in the scheme, and now these other three are facing charges.
Doctors Muhammed Kaleem Arshad of New Orleans and Padmini Nagaraj of Kenner, as well as Joseph Haynes of New Orleans (the marketer) are facing a litany of charges stemming from a scheme in which they were referring patients for a host of services that weren’t necessary, all with the goal of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid services.
The indictments were handed down and the 17-page indictment detailed how these three allegedly worked with Progressive Home Health Care Inc. as well as some other home health care agencies in the region between September 2010 to April 2015. The doctors would get kickbacks and bribes that were, as the indictment noted, ‘disguised’ as ‘medical director’ fees.
According to the indictment, these doctors were actually “fraudulently referring, certifying and recertifying Medicare beneficiaries … for medically unnecessary home health care services.”
As reported by the CT Post in the news blog, Prosecutors: psychiatrists, marketer had kickback plot:
“Also named in the indictment were Progressive’s co-owner, Milton Diaz of Harvey, who pleaded guilty in 2015 to one count of conspiracy, and Kim Ricard, an associate of Haynes.
Ricard was convicted on eight counts in September and sentenced to four years and three months in prison on each count, to be served concurrently. She has appealed the sentence.
Arshad, Nagaraj and Haynes are charged with one count each of conspiracy to receive illegal health care kickbacks and three counts of receiving such kickbacks. Arshad and Nagaraj also face one count each of conspiracy to commit health care fraud and five counts of health care fraud.”
There has been no immediate word on whether any of the three named conspirators in this indictment had retained legal counsel. There also hasn’t been an initial court date set. With some of the conspirators in this fraud scheme already having plead guilty or been found guilty, it’s unclear what steps will be taken by these three defendants. There was little information provided about Joseph Haynes’ role in this scheme, but a close associate was found guilty and is facing more than four years in prison.