A Long Island doctor was arrested for allegedly defrauding Medicare and Medicaid of more than $1.3 million for fraudulent claims related to Covid-19 testing, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York (EDNY) announced Wednesday.
Dr. Perry Frankel, 64, of Roslyn, was charged with three counts of health care fraud for an alleged scheme in which federal investigators say he billed Medicare and Medicaid for Covid-19 tests that he never performed. Frankel is a cardiologist and owner of Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics PLLC in New Hyde Park.
“As alleged, exploiting a public health crisis by using patients who received Covid-19 tests at mobile testing sites to fraudulently bill Medicare and Medicaid for fictitious office visits is reprehensible,” stated United States EDNY Attorney Breon Peace. “This office and our law enforcement partners will vigorously prosecute those who take advantage of the pandemic to steal from taxpayer-funded programs.”
Investigators say that Frankel submitted claims for office visits that never occurred and connected them with patients who received Covid-19 tests at Advanced Cardiovascular Diagnostics PLLC’s mobile testing sites across Long Island, including on dates when Frankel was out of state.
Frankel’s lawyer, Timothy Sini, in a statement on Wednesday denied that Frankel took advantage of the pandemic for financial benefits.
“Dr. Frankel is a respected cardiologist in the Long Island region who has saved lives by providing vital mobile medical screenings to law enforcement, school districts and many communities across Long Island and the five boroughs,” Sini said. “When the Covid-19 pandemic hit, Dr. Frankel stepped up and brought much needed Covid-19 testing to the community. He has been recognized for his service by many, including the White House.
“The Government, as part of a larger initiative, is targeting healthcare providers who supposedly took advantage of the pandemic to benefit themselves financially. Nothing could be further from the truth here – Dr. Frankel provided a much needed service during a public health crisis and an extremely challenging time,” he continued. “It is unfortunate that the government’s claims seek to undermine the positive nature of Dr. Frankel’s work. We look forward to pursuing justice for Dr. Frankel and clearing his name in the medical community.”
The accusations against Frankel are part of a larger coordinated effort by the EDNY Criminal Division Fraud Section’s Medicare Fraud Strike Force to crack down on health care fraud, which has led to criminal charges against 21 defendants for alleged Covid-19-related schemes totaling $149 million in false claims.
“The Department of Justice’s Health Care Fraud Unit and our partners are dedicated to rooting out schemes that have exploited the pandemic,” said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. “Today’s enforcement action reinforces our commitment to using all available tools to hold accountable medical professionals, corporate executives, and others who have placed greed above care during an unprecedented public health emergency.”
Frankel will be arraigned on Wednesday afternoon before U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert. The prosecuting attorneys are Kelly M. Lyons and Patrick J. Campbell, of the EDNY Fraud Section.