The Police NewsHouston, TX
Missouri City physician pays nearly half a million to resolve illegal kickback and fraud allegations
HOUSTON – A local physician has agreed to pay the United States $450,000 to resolve allegations that he falsely signed home health certifications and plans of care in exchange for money, announced U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick. Dr. Maaz Abbasi, 41, also agreed to a three-year period of exclusion from participation in any federal health care program.
The investigation began after authorities uncovered Abbasi’s connection to a fraud matter involving home health company Circuit Wide Healthcare Inc. Its owner - Egondu “Kate” Koko - admitted she paid illegal kickbacks to physicians like Abbasi for paperwork necessary to bill Medicare for home health services purportedly provided.
From 2015 to 2018, Abbasi certified patients for home health services without any knowledge of their medical condition or homebound status. Circuit Wide paid Abbasi approximately $6,200 in exchange for signing these fraudulent Medicare home health certifications and plans of care. Abbasi also fraudulently signed a fellow physician’s name on these certifications and plans of care without that physician’s authorization, permission or knowledge.
The agreement resolves the allegations without a determination of liability.
Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Melissa M. Green handled the matter.