GROTON, N.Y.—A doctor with a Groton practice has reached an agreement to pay $900,000 for a variety of up-billing charges, announced by the United States Attorney’s Office Monday.

Dr. Ahmad Mehdi, who operates general medical practices in Groton and Tully, New York, agreed to pay the money to “resolve civil claims for up-coding billings for some medical services, billing for smoking cessation counseling services that were not adequately documented, and allegedly improper prescribing of opioids.”

Mehdi had been accused of billing certain services at higher rates of reimbursement to get more money in return from federal healthcare programs over a six-plus year period from Jan. 1, 2012 and Sept. 17, 2018. Additionally, the settlement completes a separate case against Mehdi that involved the time period between April 2018 and the end of 2020, when he was accused of “prescribing opioids outside the usual course of professional practice to three patients.”

“Providers who increase their own profits by over-billing for medical care increase medical costs for all of us and drain critical funds from Medicare and other government health programs,” said U.S. Attorney Carla Freedman. “We will continue to hold accountable medical professionals who undermine our healthcare system by over-billing for care.”

“Every dollar scammed from Medicaid is a dollar not spent caring for New Yorkers with actual medical needs,” said New York Attorney General Letitia James in an accompanying statement. “I am proud of the work my team did, together with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York, in uncovering these false claims and securing these funds. Let this settlement be a clear message: We have zero tolerance for lying to Medicaid, and we will hold those who do accountable.”

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Managing Editor at the Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.com