Kansas pediatrician pleads guilty to conducting $300K telemedicine scheme

Fredrick Dattel, MD, a Kansas City, Mo.-area pediatrician, pleaded guilty to a charge of making a false statement related to a healthcare matter because of his participation in a telehealth kickback scheme that billed Medicare $312,392.

Dr. Dattel's participation in the scheme came when he worked as a physician at the telehealth company RediDoc. RediDoc's owners profited from illegal kickback schemes where physicians signed off on prescriptions and medical equipment that were not medically necessary, according to a Nov. 10 Justice Department news release.

According to the release, Dr. Dattel, 57, wrote orders or prescriptions for 1,075 Medicare patients without speaking to or examining them. As a result, Medicare was billed for at least $312,392 and paid at least $211,542 for the orders. 

As part of the plea agreement, Dr. Dattel must pay the full $211,542 in restitution. He faces a sentence of up to five years in prison, and a sentencing hearing will be scheduled after a federal investigation into the scheme.

Dr. Dattel owns and operates Kansas City (Mo.) Pediatrics.

"A physician abused his position of trust to cause fraudulent claims to be filed for more than 1,000 Medicare beneficiaries," U.S. Attorney Teresa Moore said. "This theft of public funds was part of a larger nationwide scheme that includes prosecutions in other districts where additional perpetrators are being held accountable for their criminal actions."

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