ATLANTA – Saima Syed, MD (“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 the allegations They violated the False Claims Act by, among other things, billing the government for medical visits that were not medically necessary, were not performed as stated, and were not supported by the patient’s medical records.
“Doctors who attempt to improperly obtain funds from federal health care programs by padding their bills are siphoning scarce resources from vital programs,” said U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Buchanan. “This settlement represents our office’s commitment to ensuring accountability for physicians who put their greed above compliance with the rules set by Medicare and Medicaid.”
“Physicians who put their own profits ahead of their professional responsibility to their patients and the honest billing of government health care programs endanger both the well-being of patients and taxpayer funding,” said Tamala E. Miles, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG). “Our agency, working closely with our law enforcement partners, will continue to investigate health care fraud cases to protect these safety net programs and the participants who rely on them.”
“Our office is working diligently to protect the integrity of Georgia’s Medicaid program,” said Georgia Attorney General Chris Carr. “Through enforcement actions like this settlement, we are able to recover unlawfully diverted tax dollars and return them to the public good they are intended to serve.”
This settlement resolves allegations that from January 2, 2018 through February 12, 2021, Saima Syed knowingly submitted false applications to federal health care programs for medical visits that were not as complex or lengthy as Saima Syed claimed. This is a practice commonly known as “upcoding.” The government also alleged that Saima Syed submitted requests to federal health programs for certain office visits as if she had personally provided the service, even though she was overseas at the time those services were allegedly provided.
The settlement also resolves allegations in a lawsuit filed by Herretta Pickens and Tahirah McCloud, both former employees of Syed Practice Group, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act authorizes private parties to file and participate in collection of false claims on behalf of the United States. The lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Georgia and is entitled “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 into this matter was conducted by Assistant United States Attorney Austin M. Hall, Assistant Attorney General Sara Vann and Assistant Attorney General Mary Bryan. The claims resolved through the settlement are allegations only and no determination of liability has been made.
The Georgia Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Division receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as part of a grant totaling $4,871,744 for federal fiscal year 2024. The remaining 25 percent, totaling $1,623,912 for the Fiscal Year 2024, are funded by the state of Georgia.
For further information, please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Public Affairs 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.