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Long IslandCrime

LI doctor gets a year in prison for fraudulent billing practices

A Long Island doctor who fraudulently billed Medicare and insurance for skin grafts and other procedures was sentenced Friday to 366 days in prison and ordered to pay almost $1.1 million, the U.S. attorney's office said.

Podiatrist Hal Abrahamson, 57, of Melville had pleaded guilty to health care fraud in June of last year after investigators found he filed for reimbursement at a rate many times higher than other podiatrists from January 2013 to January 2017. He never performed the work, billed under the name of a doctor whose reimbursement rate was higher, or filed for payment on more expensive procedures than the ones he performed, prosecutors said.

His attorney could not be immediately reached Friday evening.

The doctor, who had offices in Plainview and Rego Park in Queens, billed for skin grafts 1,092 times over a four-year period in which another Plainview podiatrist with a comparable practice billed just once and a podiatrist in Abrahamson's office billed only five times, officials said.

He also filed for reimbursements for wound packing 757 times over the four-year period and would routinely add this charge under another podiatrist's name, prosecutors said.

U.S. District Court Judge Denis R. Hurley in Central Islip ordered Abrahamson to pay restitution of $869,651, a $50,000 fine and $177,000 in forfeiture.

The case was a joint effort between prosecutors, the FBI and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Health and Human Services in New York.

“Greed dictated this doctor’s billing practices,” U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York said in a news release. 

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