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Atlanta Physician Pleads Guilty To Medicaid Fraud

PRESS ADVISORY

Atlanta Physician Pleads Guilty To Medicaid Fraud

January 5, 2007

Former Owner & Operator of Midtown Medical Center Convicted In $375,000 Fraud Of The Georgia Medicaid System

(Atlanta) Thurbert E. Baker, Attorney General for the State of Georgia, and David E. Nahmias, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia announced today that Aaron M. Hurowitz, 56, of Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty today in federal district court to having perpetrated a scheme to defraud the State of Georgia Medicaid Program.

United States Attorney David E. Nahmias said, "Health care fraud continues to be a high priority for federal and state criminal enforcement. Dr. Hurowitz, a licensed physician and approved Medicaid provider, pleaded guilty today to stealing from the Medicaid system, which is funded with federal and state taxpayer dollars to ensure access to health care for our most needy citizens. Along with our colleagues in state government, we will vigorously prosecute fraud on the public health care system, particularly when it is committed by physicians who are entrusted to bill honestly for their services."

Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker added that, “It is unconscionable that a medical provider would line his own pockets by taking money that otherwise would have provided critical care to Georgia’s most at-risk citizens. Theft in any form from Georgia’s Medicaid system will be diligently rooted out by both state and federal authorities, to ensure that the funds are available to take care of the medical needs of Georgia’s citizens.”

According to Georgia Attorney General Baker and United States Attorney Nahmias and the information presented in court: Hurowitz is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and the former owner and operator of “Midtown Medical Center,” located at 849 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia. Between March 1997 and O ctober 2002, the State of Georgia Medicaid Program paid Hurowitz, who was at the time an approved Medicaid provider, for physician services he claimed to have rendered to Medicaid patients. A significant portion of these claims, however, were fraudulent. Specifically, Hurowitz: (1) billed for services that were not provided, (2) "upcoded," or submitted claims for services at higher levels of reimbursement than were supported by the services that were actually provided, and (3) billed for medically unnecessary services, including numerous drug screens. In addition, while Hurowitz was being investigated, both by the Georgia Department of Community Health and by the State Health Care Fraud Control Unit, he falsified numerous medical records in an effort to conceal his fraudulent billing practices. Hurowitz was indicted by a federal grand jury . He pled guilty today to one count of health care fraud and agreed as part of his plea agreement with the government that his fraud scheme caused a $375,000 loss to the Medicaid program. He further agreed to pay at sentencing $375,000 in restitution and a $125,000 fine. Hurowitz could also receive a sentence of up to 10 years in prison. Sentencing is scheduled for March 27, 2007, at 10:00 a.m., before United States District Judge Beverly B. Martin.

This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Georgia Assistant Attorney General Scott A. Smeal of the State Health Care Fraud Control Unit and Assistant United States Attorney Paul Monnin prosecuted the case..