Years later, doctor agrees to reimburse government
A case that went on for more than two years came to a close Thursday, April 21, with the U.S. Attorney General’s office announcing a settlement with Monroe doctor Latika Patel. State investigators allege that between 2003 to 2008, Dr. Patel billed Medicaid for services she did not provide to patients at Carolina Obstetrics and Gynecology, which she owns.
“Investigators found Dr. Patel knowingly billed the Medicaid progrm for more extensive services than she actually provided, a practice known as upcoding,” Secretary to the U.S. Attorney Lia Bantavani said in a press release.
By upcoding, Bantavani explained, Patel was reimbursed for significantly more than she would have received for her work. Investigators also found Patel billed Medicaid for services provided at a local hospital where documentation shows she was not present and did not care for patients. Over the six year period, Patel also billed the government for unnecessary procedures.
Under terms of the settlement, Patel has to pay $750,000 to the North Carolina Medicaid Program, more than double the amount of illegal bills she submitted. She also agreed to hire a government approved auditor, which will monitor all filings out of her clinic for the next five years.