A Texas physician with East Texas ties has been arrested and charged with health care fraud.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 61-year-old Tariq Mahmood of Cedar Hill, Texas, was indicted by a federal grand jury on April 11, and charged with conspiracy to commit health care fraud and seven counts of health care fraud. Mahmood went before U.S. Magistrate Judge John D. Love Tuesday for an initial appearance.
According to the indictment, Mahmood, a general practitioner, owned and operated several hospitals in the state including Cozby Germany Hospital in Grand Saline, Renaissance Terrell Hospital in Terrell, Central Texas Hospital in Cameron, Community General Hospital in Dilley, and Shelby Regional Medical Center in Center. From April 2010 to April 2013, Mahmood and others are alleged to have carried out a scheme to defraud Medicare and Medicaid through the submission of false and fraudulent claims. Mahmood and others added, changed, deleted, and incorrectly sequenced diagnostic codes in a way that did not reflect the actual diagnoses and conditions of the patients. They submitted false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid based on the added, changed, deleted, and incorrectly sequenced diagnostic codes. By means of fraudulent billing practices, the defendant and his co-conspirators are alleged to have unlawfully submitted false claims of more than $1.1 million and obtained more than $375,000.
If convicted, Mahmood faces up to 10 years in federal prison for each charge.
The investigation leading to the charges was conducted by agents from the Texas Office of the Attorney General – Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (OAG-MFCU), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG), and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS). Assistant U.S. Attorney Nathaniel C. Kummerfeld is prosecuting this case.
Any individuals with knowledge of these or other health care fraud violations are encouraged to contact the Department of Health and Human Services’ fraud hotline at 1-800-HHS-TIPS (447-8477).