New York anesthesiologist indicted for alleged role in $7M telemedicine fraud scheme

New York anesthesiologist Anna Steiner, MD, was indicted July 9 in federal court for her alleged participation in a $7 million telemedicine scheme to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicare Part D and private insurance plans, according to the Department of Justice.

Dr. Steiner has been charged with conspiracy to commit healthcare fraud, beginning in January 2015 when she and other medical providers allegedly agreed to practice telemedicine with unnamed companies in exchange for kickbacks paid for each telemedicine encounter with a beneficiary. Without proper medical examination, Dr. Steiner and the other providers signed numerous prescriptions and order forms for durable medical equipment and drugs for beneficiaries who did not need the treatments, according to federal prosecutors.

The DME suppliers and pharmacies then submitted more than $7 million in claims to Medicare on behalf of more than 3,000 beneficiaries. Medicare paid more than $3 million on the claims, according to the DOJ news release.

"As alleged, [Dr.] Steiner claimed to provide telemedicine services to patients, but in reality, her telecare was a fiction and the claims submitted to Medicare unnecessary and fraudulent," said Richard Donoghue, United States attorney for the Eastern District of New York, according to the news release. "This Office and our law enforcement partners will continue vigorously investigating and prosecuting healthcare professionals who seek personal enrichment by stealing from a taxpayer-funded program."

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