Doc­tor charged in kick­back scheme

Times Chronicle & Public Spirit - - FRONT PAGE - By Linda Finarelli

A Hunt­ing­don Val­ley physi­cian was ar­rested Aug. 2 and charged by the U.S. AtWRUnHy’V 2IfiFH ZLWK WDNLnJ part in a kick­back scheme in­volv­ing a Philadel­phia hospice provider.

Dr. Eu­gene Gold­man, 54, aka Yev­geniy Gold­man, was in­dicted on charges of vi­o­lat­ing and con­spir­ing with the own­ers of Home Care Hospice Inc. to vi­o­late fed­eral anti-kick­back laws while em­ployed as a mediFDO GLUHFWRU IRU WKH IRU-SUR­fiW hospice provider, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fiFH.

Ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment, Gold­man was the med­i­cal di­rec­tor of Home Care Hospice be­tween De­cem­ber 2000 and July 2011, dur­ing which time he reg­u­larly re­ferred pa­tients cov­ered by Medi­care and Med­i­caid to HCH. As such, he was paid $100 per hour un­der a con­tract with HCH, which was co-owned by Alex Pug­man and Matthew Kolodesh, both of whom have been charged in sep­a­rate in­dict­ments.

Pug­man and his wife, Svet­lana Ganet­sky, who was also charged sep­a­rately, paid il­le­gal kick­backs and bribes to pro­fes­sion­als, in­clud­ing Gold­man, who re­ferred pa­tients cov­ered by Medi­care and Med­i­caid to HCH, the in­dict­ment al­leges. To con­ceal the kick­backs, Pug­man and Gold­man al­legedly en­tered into a writ­ten con­tract to cre­ate the false ap­pear­ance that all pay­ments to

Gold­man from HCH were made in his ca­pac­ity as med­i­cal di­rec­tor, ac­cord­ing to the in­dict­ment.

From De­cem­ber 2000 to Oc­to­ber 2008, Gold­man al­legedly con­spired with Pug­man and Ganet­sky to re­ceive kick­backs for re­fer­ring pa­tients to HCH for hospice ser­vices that were sub­mit­ted to Medi­care and Med­i­caid, the in­dict­ment says.

From Jan­uary 2004 to Oc­to­ber 2008, HCH all egedly paid Gold­man about $228,773 for Medi­care and Medi caid pa­tient r efer­rals, and be­tween Jan­uary and March 2009, Gold­man al­legedly was paid $9,000 f or r efer­rals, t he i ndict­ment s t ates.

If con­victed of the charges, Gold­man faces a max­i­mum sen­tence of five years in prison for each charge and a fine of up to $250,000, as well as manda­tory ex­clu­sion from par­tic­i­pat­ing in any fed­eral health care pro­gram, ac­cord­ing to the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

Kolodesh, 49, of Churchville, Pa., was in­dicted in Oc­to­ber 2011 on charges of con­spir­ing to de­fraud Medi­care of more than $14 mil­lion through Home Care Hospice, ac­cord­ing to a sep­a­rate in­dict­ment from the U.S. At­tor­ney’s Of­fice.

Kolodesh al­legedly sub­mit­ted claims to­tal­ing $14.3 mil­lion for pa­tients who were ei­ther not el­i­gi­ble for or did not re­ceive the hospice ser- vices billed to Medi­care.

Kolodesh also al­legedly di­verted $9.36 mil­lion from HCH’s oper­at­ing ac­count for his per­sonal use, in­clud­ing ren­o­va­tions to his house, travel, col­lege tu­ition and pur­chase of a lux­ury ve­hi­cle, the in­dict­ment says.

He was charged with con­spir­acy to com­mit health care fraud, 21 counts of health care fraud, 11 counts of money laun­der­ing and two counts of mail fraud. The in­dict­ment al­leges Kolodesh and his part­ner, Pug­man, paid kick­backs to health care pro­fes­sion­als, in­clud­ing physi­cians, for re­fer­ring pa­tients to HCH even when those pa­tients were not el­i­gi­ble or ap­pro­pri­ate for hospice.

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