US NRI physician pleads guilty to healthcare fraud

New York physician Mahesh Kuthuru, 44, has pleaded guilty to defrauding the federal insurance programme Medicare from 2010 to 2011 during his practice at a city clinic. He admitted to fraud of $83,000 and faces up to ten years in prison and a fine of some $350,000. Kuthuru admitted he submitted bills for Medicare that falsely reflected that he had personally provided or directly supervised other licensed medical personnel providing treatment or services to patients. Kuthuru however did not personally provide the services because he was either outside the country or in Las Vegas where he operated another medical office. He also pleaded guilty to illegally issuing prescriptions for controlled substances from his New York practice, and admitted that when he was not in those offices clerical staff would partially fill out prescription forms for patients in advance of the patient's visit. The forms were then sent to Kuthuru in Las Vegas where he would sign and return them to the staff in New York who would date them and give them to the patients. Kuthuru is due to be sentenced in May this year.