A Long Island doctor has been indicted on accusations that he paid kickbacks to physicians for patient referrals and defrauded Medicaid by performing unnecessary medical exams, New York Attorney General Letitia James’ office announced Monday.
Payam Toobian, M.D., 52, of Kings Point, who owns America’s Imaging Center, Inc., faces several felony charges, including third-degree grand larceny and health care fraud, eight counts of falsifying business records in the first degree, and three counts of violating the Social Services Law statute prohibiting the payment of kickbacks related to Medicaid program services.
“New Yorkers should be able to trust that their doctors are working to heal them, not profit off of their suffering,” James said. “Bribery and kickback schemes corrupt our healthcare system and make it impossible for patients to receive the care that they need. The idea that a licensed physician would subject patients to unnecessary testing to line their pockets is unconscionable, and my office will continue to go after medical providers that jeopardize the health and safety of New Yorkers.”
Toobian allegedly gave more than $547,000 in gift cards, cash, and checks to three physicians who referred patients to his company’s diagnostic radiology center in Forest Hills, Queens, Empire Imaging, which received more than $1 million in paid claims from these patients, including through Medicaid. He allegedly defrauded Medicaid and subjected patients to invasive exams “without the direction, consent, or approval of the referring physicians responsible for the underlying care of those patients,” according to the attorney general’s office.
Prosecutors also allege that Toobian directed his staff to falsify documents adding unauthorized procedures in orders submitted to Medicaid to receive more money back.
Toobian is due back in court on Sept. 12. His attorney was not immediately available for comment.