A Michigan podiatrist was sentenced to seven years in prison for orchestrating a healthcare fraud conspiracy that resulted in almost $2 million in false and fraudulent claims being submitted to Medicare and for falsifying records and identity theft.
Dr. Kenneth Mitchell, 61, of Wayne County, who owned and operated a podiatry practice in Michigan specializing in on-site foot care provided to adult foster home residents, was sentenced Thursday (May 4).
Medicare recently suspended the 61-year-old for questionable billing practices, banning him from receiving any Medicare funds while the suspension remained in place.
While suspended, Mitchell created a new entity called “Urban Health Care Group PLLC” (Urban). He then convinced another doctor who was not facing a suspension and, therefore, could bill Medicare to enroll in the Medicare program and place her name on corporate and banking documents relating to Urban.
Mitchell, during his arraignment, submitted bills to Medicare falsely stating that the other doctor provided the services to patients.
The deception enabled him to bill Medicare through Urban for nearly $2 million in false or fraudulent services.
After being indicted, Medicare suspended the billing privileges of Urbans, causing Mitchell to create false statements, even going so far as to forge at least one signature on a fraudulent letter sent to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to impede the government’s ongoing investigation and contradict the government’s case against him officials say.