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The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut announced on November 3 that Ananthakumar Thillainathan, a physician with offices in Stratford and Milford, pleaded guilty to healthcare fraud and federal kickback violations. The doctor faces up to 20 years in prison and a restitution payment of almost $1.7 million.

Thillainathan, the owner of MDCareNow LLC, falsely billed the Connecticut Medicaid program about $840,000 for psychotherapy services that were never rendered to patients. He also paid per-patient kickbacks to a “patient recruiting” company that introduced more than 1,000 patients to the practice. Connecticut Medicaid then reimbursed the practice more than $1 million for services provided to these patients.

Let this be a reminder that it is never okay to pay per-patient “recruiting fees,” “bonuses” or “commissions” to third-party marketers for referring patients whose care is reimbursed by federal healthcare programs.

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