Stratford doctor admits Medicaid fraud and kickbacks

A 44-year-old Stratford doctor who owns a medical practice in Connecticut pleaded guilty to health care fraud and bribery involving federal health care programs in Hartford on Thursday, according to federal officials.

Bjoern Wylezich / TNS

STRATFORD — A local doctor admitted to health care fraud and bribery offenses on Thursday, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Ananthakumar Thillainathan, MD, owner and president of the medical practice MDCareNow, LLC, allegedly submitted fraudulent applications to the Connecticut Medicaid program and made illegal compensatory payments to an unidentified patient recruitment company for nearly three years. Thillainathan, 44, a Sri Lankan citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States, was released on $100,000 bond pending sentencing, officials said.

Prosecutors said MDCareNow was an internal medicine and behavioral health care provider under the Connecticut Medicaid program. The firm has offices in Stratford and Milford. Between June 2019 and around May 2022, Thillainathan, himself of Stratford, billed Connecticut Medicaid about $839,724 for psychotherapy services he knew the patients had never received, prosecutors say.

Specifically, prosecutors said Thillainathan falsely stated that employees who either spoke briefly with patients, left patients a voicemail, or had no contact with patients instead provided 60-minute therapy sessions. .

Thillainathan also admitted to violating the terms of his Connecticut Medical Assistance Program provider agreement by paying bribes to a third-party patient recruitment company, officials said. Between November 2019 and approximately May 2021, officials said, Thillainathan paid the company a total of approximately $1,108 to recruit patients and provide transportation to MDCareNow for healthcare services – $100 per patient for an initial visit and $40 per patient for each follow-up. visit upstairs. Connecticut Medicaid reimbursed MDCareNow a total of about $1,071,328 for services provided to these patients, officials said.

Thillainathan pleaded guilty to one count of health care fraud and one count of kickbacks involving federal health care programs in federal court in Hartford and agreed to pay $1,674,880 in restitution , according to officials. He is expected to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in Bridgeport on January 26.

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