Texas physician gets 7 years in prison for fraud scheme

A Texas physician was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for his role in a healthcare fraud scheme, the U.S. Justice Department said June 24. 

Grigoriy Rodonaia, MD, who practiced at Rodonaia Family Medicine and Aesthetics in Beaumont, Texas, was convicted by a jury in November 2020 of 12 counts of healthcare fraud, three counts of aggravated identity theft and one count of making a false statement. 

In addition to his sentence, Dr. Rodonaia was ordered to pay $195,607 in restitution.

According to prosecutors, Dr. Rodonaia issued more than 600 fake prescriptions for specially compounded scar creams using the names, dates of birth, and Health Insurance Claim Numbers of about 140 Tricare beneficiaries. The prescriptions allegedly were issued without consultation with the patient and without patients' knowledge. The prescriptions were sent to Memorial Compounding Pharmacy in Houston, which billed Tricare for $9,000 to $13,000 per prescription.

Tricare paid about $6.7 million to Memorial Compounding Pharmacy for the fake prescriptions, prosecutors said.

Additionally, to conceal the scheme, Dr. Rodonaia allegedly forged patient records to falsely say he examined the patients and he submitted the fraudulent records to the Defense Health Agency in response to an audit, prosecutors said.

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