Hudson Valley Woman Charged in $7 Million Health Care Scheme
A Hudson Valley woman was indicted for her alleged role in a $7 million health-care fraud conspiracy.
On Tuesday, in Brooklyn federal court in Brooklyn, 63-year-old Anna Steiner of Valatie, an anesthesiologist, was arraigned on an indictment charging her with conspiracy to commit health care fraud for her alleged role in a telemedicine scheme to submit fraudulent claims to Medicare, Medicare Part D plans and private insurance plans.
“Fraud against both public and private health care plans is not a victimless crime—the cost of doing business is ultimately transferred to members and taxpayers alike,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William F. Sweeney, Jr said. “More importantly, prescribing medication and medical equipment to patients for the sole purpose of turning a profit is not only unethical, it’s dangerous business. Today’s indictment is a victory for the FBI and our partners, the public at large, and those in the medical community who operate within the confines of the law.”
Telemedicine is a service connecting medical providers with individuals who receive healthcare benefits through real-time, interactive audio and video telecommunications.
Starting around January 2015, Steiner, who was also known as “Hanna Wasielewska," is accused of taking part in a $7 million Medicare fraud scheme. Prosecutors allege Steiner and other medical providers signed numerous prescriptions and order forms for durable medical equipment and drugs for beneficiaries when the durable medical equipment and drugs were not medically necessary and not the result of an actual doctor-patient relationship or examination.
“When physicians boost their profits by billing federal healthcare programs for medically unnecessary services, the Office of Inspector General, along with our law enforcement partners, will thoroughly investigate such deceptive schemes,” HHS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Scott Lampert said.
Suppliers and pharmacies then submitted to Medicare more than $7 million in claims, on behalf of more than 3,000 beneficiaries, officials say. Medicare paid more than $3 million on these claims.