A doctor who owned a Morristown pain clinic and his wife have been sentenced to federal prison terms for health care fraud involving prescription pain medication.
Dr. Abdelrahman Mohamed, 64, received a 36 month sentence. His wife, Cecilia Manacsa, 59, received a 16 month sentence. Mohamed was also required to pay $730,000 in restitution.
They both pleaded guilty in September to 11 charges including conspiracy to commit health care fraud and health care fraud.
Mohamed owned Hamblen Neuroscience Center in Morristown. His wife, Manacsa, worked there as a supervisor of various employees, including the one who sent bills to Medicare and TennCare.
Mohamed, the only physician on staff, provided treatment to patients, most of whom sought treatment for chronic pain and had Medicare or TennCare.
Prosecutors say between January 2012 and September 2016, Mohamed and Manacsa concocted a scheme to see more patients per day than Mohamed could possibly attend to. On average, 40 to 60 patients were scheduled per day, who would be lined up and seen in open-door office visits for one or two minutes. A staff member would then hand Mohamed a partially completed prescription for an opioid pain medication, which he signed and gave to the patient. The patient would then be scheduled for a return visit the following month.
The U.S. district attorney’s office says Mohamed admitted to issuing thousands of prescriptions for opiate controlled substances out side the scope of ordinary medical practice.
After the visits, Mohamed and Manacsa would instruct staff members to send fraudulent bills to Medicare and TennCare for services the patients did not receive. The fraud resulted in Medicare and TennCare paying around $733,000 to the clinic.
“This case sends a clear message to physicians and other health care providers in the Eastern District of Tennessee that investigating and prosecuting healthcare fraud related to prescription opioids is a top priority for the Department of Justice as well as the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” said J. Douglas Overbey, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Tennessee.