A Massachusetts physician who once operated more than two dozen family practices with a focus on medication-assisted treatment for addiction has been sentenced to serve 11 months in jail for Medicaid fraud, as part of a broad state investigation involving sober home operators and drug testing.
Punyamurtula Kishore, MD, was also ordered this week to pay $9.3 million to the Massachusetts Medicaid system, MassHealth. Kishore was charged in 2011 with bilking Medicaid by paying recovery home operators in the state to send him urine test samples for patients who were not under his care and then billing Medicaid for the tests. Massachusetts regulators require medical providers involved in drug testing to be actively involved in the tested individual's care.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement, “This case exhibited blatant theft of state funds that were supposed to go toward care for some of our most vulnerable residents. This is fraud that undermines the integrity of our health care system.”
Two sober home operators who were involved in the scheme have pleaded guilty to receiving Medicaid kickbacks and have been sentenced to probation, while cases against two other recovery home leaders in the state are ongoing.