Ron Elfenbein, a prominent COVID doctor from Maryland, has been accused of a $1.5 million healthcare fraud which states he overbilled for COVID-19 tests.
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Federal prosecutors have accused a prominent Maryland doctor in charge of COVID-19 testing at Baltimore-Washington International Marshall Airport and elsewhere of overcharging Medicare and other insurers by more than $1.5 million.
According to a grand jury indictment reported by the Washington Post, Ron Elfenbein, 47, who received an award from Gov. Larry Hogan for his efforts during the pandemic, allegedly overbilled for COVID-19 tests in combination with “more lucrative, but medically unnecessary” services. These services “were purportedly of a 30-minute or longer duration, or involving moderate or high levels of medical decision-making, but did not in fact occur,” according to the indictment.
The indictment (pdf given below) alleges Elfenbein knew many patients were being seen for less than five minutes but directed staffers to bill for the higher-level services anyway, saying they were “the ‘bread and butter’ of how we get paid.”
The indictment, which charges Elfenbein with three counts of health-care fraud, identifieshim as an owner and medical director of Drs ERgent Care, a company that also does business under the names First Call Medical Center and Chesapeake ERgent Care.
“In the early days of the pandemic, Dr. Ron Elfenbein rallied his doctor’s office in a time of global fear, to be a leading provider of coronavirus testing and treatment in the community,” according to Elfenbein’s lawyer, Mikle Lawlor adding ” a trial in this case will prove not only that Dr. Elfenbein is innocent of the charges hastily brought by the government, but that during a time of unprecedented need, Dr.Elfenbein and his staff saved the lives of numerous Marylanders.”
Elfenbein is charged with three counts of healthcare fraud, and he is the owner and medical director of a company named “Drs ERgent Care,” which also does business as “First Call Medical Center and Chesapeake ERgent Care,” according to the indictment.
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The indictment is given below: