No. Smithfield clinic to pay $650K to settle Medicare fraud case

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NORTH SMITHFIELD — The U.S. Department of Justice has announced that a settlement has been reached following charges that medical providers at Park Square Urgent Care in North Smithfield billed for services that they did not performed.

Affiliates of Dr. Zaheer Shah, owner of the clinic and accompanying laboratory, will pay $650,000 to settle the lawsuit, filed last March.

According to a civl complaint against the office, in 2014 and 2015, Shah and his affiliates received more than $1.5 million in payments for high-complexity urine tests, while only performing medium complexity tests.

Shah’s wife, Christine Shah, owned the North Smithfield-based company that conducted much of the billing, Paramount Medical Billing. Paramount’s registration to transact business in the state of Rhode Island was revoked in 2018.

A release from the department noted that he settlement figure is based on an analysis of the defendants’ ability to pay, following an extensive review of the clinic’s current financial condition.

Shah and his affiliates were alleged to have submitted tens of thousands of false billing claims to the government,  often running moderate complexity drug screens, then billing Medicare or Medicaid for high-complexity screens. Urine specimens were then sent to an outside laboratory to obtain high-complexity results, and the lab would bill on the same specimen.

Prosecutors alleged that Shah had, “actual knowledge, reckless disregard or deliberate ignorance,” of the fact that his lab was only capable of performing medium-complexity drug tests, and knew that fraudulent billing was taking place.

Park Square’s non-medical assets were purchased by Rhode Island Health Group, LLC — an entity partially owned by Shah, in 2018. The complaint states that the new owners received the benefits of Park Square’s fraudulently derived value.

Entities named in the federal suit included  Park Square Urgent Care, Inc.; Arizona-based Primacare, Inc.; Biltmore Medical; Biltmore Medical A; Advanced Urgent Care; Rhode Island Health Group, LLC; and Zaheer Shah, M.D. The entities reportedly conducted business at 63, 65, and 73 Eddie Dowling Highway in North Smithfield, and at 100 Smithfield Avenue in Pawtucket.

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