Leonard C Boyle, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that GERIATRIC & ADULT PSYCHIATRY, LLC, (“GAP”) and its owner, ALAN SIEGAL, M.D., have entered into a civil settlement agreement with the federal and state governments to resolve allegations that they improperly employed an individual who was excluded from all federal healthcare programs. GAP is a medical practice located in Hamden.
To resolve their liability under the federal and state False Claims Acts, GAP and Siegal will pay $310,874.
In 2006, Eric Ressner, a physician, was convicted in the Southern District of Florida of conspiracy to commit health care fraud. As a result of his conviction, he was excluded from all federal health care programs.
When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General (HHS-OIG) excludes an individual or entity from federal health care programs, no program payments may be made for items or services furnished by that excluded individual or entity. In September 1999, HHS-OIG issued a Special Advisory Bulletin in order to provide guidance to health care providers who might employ or contract with an excluded individual or entity. In May 2013, HHS-OIG issued an Updated Special Advisor Bulletin containing additional guidance. Both the original and updated Special Advisory Bulletins advised that, in order to avoid potential liability, health care providers should check the List of Excluded Individuals/Entities on the HHS-OIG web site: http://oig.hhs.gov/exclusions
In February 2016, GAP and Siegal hired Ressner to be the clinical director at GAP. Ressner served in that position until June 2021. During that time, GAP and Siegal billed and sought reimbursements from federal healthcare programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, TRICARE and the Railroad Retirement Medicare Program. A portion of the reimbursements that GAP and Siegal received were used to pay Ressner’s salary and benefits.
This matter was investigated by the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Health and Human Services. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard M. Molot and Assistant Attorney General Greggory O’Connell of the Connecticut Office of the Attorney General.
People who suspect health care fraud are encouraged to report it by calling 1-800-HHS-TIPS or the Health Care Fraud Task Force at (203) 777-6311.