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Anchorage psychiatrist charged with fraud

Charges come as state cracks down on billing fraud

Posted: April 18, 2014 - 12:05am

ANCHORAGE — An Anchorage psychiatrist is accused of billing Medicaid more than $300,000 for services authorities said were never provided.

Shubhranjan Ghosh, 39, is charged by the state with medical assistance fraud, scheme to defraud and evidence tampering, the Anchorage Daily News reported. Ghosh is the founder and sole practitioner at Ghosh Psychiatric Services.

He was arrested Tuesday. His arrest comes after a string of unrelated charges connected to Medicaid in what the state calls a continuing crackdown on billing fraud.

The Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit has charged 77 people with Medicaid fraud, abuse or neglect since October 2012, compared to about 30 people the decade before, according to assistant attorney general Andrew Peterson.

“It will hopefully serve to save taxpayers a significant number of dollars,” Peterson said.

The Ghosh investigation began in September 2013 when an employee alerted authorities that she had “discovered a large fraudulent Medicaid billing issue,” according to charging documents. The charges say the woman first noticed the fraud in the summer of 2013 when looking at a bill for a patient who was not in the office for the indicated visit.

According to the documents, the worker told the office manager, who said he and Ghosh had been submitting false billings for years to cover time spent doing non-compensated tasks such as phone calls and emails for Medicaid-related cases.

It’s unclear if Ghosh has an attorney. He is being held on $100,000 bail in Anchorage.

Authorities said one of Ghosh’s patients told investigators the psychiatrist asked to create false billings for her children. When the woman said no, Ghosh “responded that she owed it to him for everything he was doing for her,” the charges state.

The charges also say Alaska Medicaid billing records note that Ghosh billed Medicaid for more than 40 visits with the patient’s children.

Ghosh’s office manager has not been charged. Peterson said the investigation is ongoing.

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