Aaron M. Hurowitz, an Atlanta physician, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Beverly B. Martin on federal charges of health care fraud related to a scheme to defraud the State of Georgia Medicaid Program.
Hurowitz was sentenced to 2 years, 3 months in federal prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, and was fined $60,000. He was also ordered to pay $375,000 in restitution to Georgia's Medicaid program. Hurowitz originally pled guilty to the charges on January 5, 2007, and agreed as part of his plea that he had caused a $375,000 loss to Medicaid.
"The Medicaid system provides a safety net funded with state and federal taxpayer dollars for our neediest citizens to ensure access to health care. Dr. Hurowitz, a licensed physician and approved Medicaid provider, abused the public's trust to steal hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Medicaid program. Health care fraud has been and will continue to be a top priority of my office, particularly where the defendants are medical professionals entrusted both to provide adequate health care to our citizens and to submit honest claims for services rendered."
Hurowitz is a doctor of osteopathic medicine and the former owner and operator of "Midtown Medical Center," formerly located at 849 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia. Between March 1997 and October 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. The evidence showed that Hurowitz billed for services that were not provided; "upcoded," or submitted claims for services at higher levels of reimbursement than were supported by the services that were actually provided; and also 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.
Georgia Assistant Attorney General Scott Smeal of the State Health Care Fraud Control Unit and Assistant United States Attorney Paul Monnin prosecuted the case. This case was investigated by Special Agents of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation..