Psychiatrist sentenced for healthcare fraud in false billing practices

Uzma Ehtesham, a psychiatrist who defrauded Virginia Medicaid and Medicare by fraudulently billing these programs for services not performed, was sentenced yesterday to two years’ probation, six months of which must be spent on home detention. According to court documents, Ehtesham devised a scheme to defraud Virginia Medicaid and Medicare by billing for individual office visits when she often saw patients in groups.  She would meet with patients in groups of two to four in a single visit, but subsequently, bill as if she had met with them independently. Also, Ehtesham billed for extensive, time-consuming, and costly office visits when she was conducting brief office visits with a patient.  In many instances, Ehtesham would only meet with a patient for five to six minutes and then billed for services not supported by required documentation.

Ehtesham was seeing more than 50 patients per day. Prescriptions were often written in advance of a scheduled visit by the office staff, placed in patient files, and signed by Ehtesham during the brief patient visit. At times, Ehtesham did not employ any medically certified staff to compile a patient’s vital statistics – such as blood pressure, pulse, height and weight? — at each visit. Instead, vital statistics were copied from previous patient visits to each new visit information sheet at Ehtesham’s direction.