Cuomo, feds settle with dermatologist

Keith Loria Jun. 11, 2010, 3:28am


NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday that he and the federal government have reached a $2.75 million settlement with a dermatologist who was charged with defrauding Medicaid.

Lawrence D. Jaeger, D.O., and Community Medical and Dermatology Center and Advanced Dermatology of New York, were charged with attempting to receive larger reimbursement rates from Medicaid by falsifying information regarding certification to become a Diagnostic and Treatment Center.

According to state regulations, a medical practice must devote more than half of its practice to primary medical care to get such a certification. Dr. Jaeger and the practice, however, continued doing almost exclusively dermatological care, it is alleged.

Because of its new certification, Dr. Jaeger received $153 per patient visit, more than five times the average $30 that Medicaid reimburses for dermatological services, Cuomo claims.

"If you promise to deliver services to the neediest New Yorkers and then fleece taxpayers through lies and deceit, there will be very real consequences," Cuomo said. "This settlement underscores that abuse of the Medicaid program will not be tolerated."

The settlement stipulates that Jaeger will pay $2.75 million - $2,674,000 under state and federal Medicaid claims, and $76,000 under federal Medicare claims.

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