Georgia Tech and Georgia Tech Research Corporation pay $90,000 to resolve allegations of violations of the False Claims Act
ATLANTA – Saima Syed, M.D. (“Dr. Syed”), Atlanta Medical and Aesthetic Center, Inc. d/b/a AIM Medical Center (“Syed Practice Group”), and Rehan Syed have agreed to pay $225,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by, among other things, billing the government for office visits that were not medically necessary, were not provided as claimed, and were not supported by patient medical records.
“Physicians who attempt to unlawfully obtain funds from government healthcare programs by padding their bills siphon scarce resources from vital programs,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This settlement represents our office’s commitment to ensure accountability for physicians who place their greed over following the rules established by Medicare and Medicaid.”
“Physicians who put their own profits above their professional responsibilities to their patients and to honestly billing federal health programs put both patient well-being and taxpayer funding at risk,” said Tamala E. Miles, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “Our agency, working closely with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate health care fraud schemes to protect these safety net programs and the enrollees relying on them.”
“Our office works diligently to protect the integrity of Georgia’s Medicaid program,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “Through enforcement actions like this settlement, we’re able to retrieve taxpayer dollars that have been unlawfully diverted and return them to the public good they’re intended to serve.”
This settlement resolves allegations that from January 2, 2018, to February 12, 2021, Saima Syed knowingly submitted false claims to federal healthcare programs for office visits that were not as complex or lengthy as Saima Syed purported. This is a practice commonly known as “upcoding.” The government also alleged that Saima Syed submitted claims of certain office visits to federal healthcare programs as though she had personally provided the service, even though she was travelling out of the country at the time these services were allegedly performed.
The settlement also resolves allegations in a lawsuit filed by Herretta Pickens and Tahirah McCloud, both of whom are former Syed Practice Group employees, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act authorizes private parties to sue for false claims on behalf of the United States and share in the recovery. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Georgia and is captioned United States ex rel. Pickens and McCloud v. Atlanta Medical and Aesthetic Center, Inc. d/b/a AIM Medical Center et al., No. 1:20-CV-4556-JPB.
The investigation of this matter was handled by Assistant U.S. Attorney Austin M. Hall, Assistant Attorney General Sara Vann, and Assistant Attorney General Mary Bryan. The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
The Georgia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $4,871,744 for Federal FY 2024. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $1,623,912 for FY 2024, is funded by the State of Georgia.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmail@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.