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Northridge doctor agrees to pay nearly $9.5 million to settle healthcare fraud lawsuit – Daily News

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A Northridge doctor, already sentenced to more than three years in prison for pleading guilty to federal health care fraud, was ordered to pay an additional $9.5 million after settling with state officials for submitting false claims to Medicare and Medi-Cal over a seven-year period, state officials said Friday, June 10.

Dr. Minas Kochumian, who owns a practice on Roscoe Boulevard in Northridge, fraudulently billed Medicare and Medi-Cal for drugs, procedures, services and tests that were never administered to patients from 2011 to 2018, California Attorney General Rob Bonta said.

Of the nearly $9.5 million settlement, California will receive more than $630,000, Bonta said.

“When doctors misuse the state’s Medi-Cal funds, they violate their Hippocratic Oath by harming a program which exists to help … the elderly, the sick and the vulnerable,” Bonta said in a statement. “Deceitful actions that jeopardize state funds and prey on Medi-Cal recipients will not be tolerated.”

The lawsuit was filed in Sacramento federal court by a former medical assistant and a former informational technology consultant in October 2017 under whistleblower provisions of state and federal False Claims Acts, Bonta said.

The two former employees alleged the doctor submitted false claims for payment of skin allergy tests when the office didn’t have the necessary equipment to provide them, according to the complaint. They also alleged he submitted claims for payment of aorta scans on days that the technician who administers them was not at the office.

The medical assistant became aware of the fraud in 2014, when a patient alerted her to a charge for an injection that was never administered, the complaint said.

A Friday statement by the U.S. Attorney’s Office said Kochumian previously practiced in Los Angeles. A phone number listed for the office did not ring through Friday, and a website for the office has been taken down.

The two former employees will receive $1.75 million of the settlement, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

As a result of a separate, independent federal criminal investigation by the health care fraud strike team based in the Central District of California, Kochumian last month pleaded guilty to one federal count of health care fraud and was sentenced to more than three years in prison, Bonta said. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $5.4 million.


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