For Immediate Release - September 21, 2011

Brookline Doctor Arrested and Arraigned in Connection with Allegedly Running Intricate Medicaid Kickback Scheme

MALDEN - A Brookline doctor has been arrested and arraigned in connection with allegedly running an intricate Medicaid fraud "kickback" scheme involving approximately $500,000 in taxpayer funds, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today. The investigation into the scheme remains ongoing.

Dr. Punyamurtula Kishore, age 61, was arrested last night at his Brookline home by Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office. Dr. Kishore was arraigned this morning in Malden District Court on one count of Medicaid Kickbacks. At arraignment he pleaded not guilty and was ordered held on $150,000 cash bail. Kishore was also ordered to surrender his passport and inform probation of any travel plans.

"Medicaid Fraud cases involve the theft of taxpayer dollars and undermine the integrity of our health care system," said AG Coakley. "In this case, we allege that Dr. Kishore orchestrated a complex kickback scheme to funnel drug screen business to his laboratories and then bill MassHealth for those services. Our investigation continues into his practices."

Today's arrest is the result of an extensive investigation by the Attorney General's Medicaid Fraud Division.

Dr. Kishore owns and manages Preventive Medicine Associates, Inc. (PMA). PMA is a network of 29 medical branches throughout Massachusetts, some of which include physician office laboratories, and one independent clinical laboratory. Based on the investigation, authorities allege that Kishore orchestrated a criminal "kickback" scheme to have various sober homes send patients to his laboratories to perform "medically necessary" urine drug screen testing of Medicaid eligible residents.

Drug screens generally are billed to the MassHealth program at a price of approximately $100 to $200. Based on the Attorney General's investigation, today's charges allege that Kishore's kickback scheme involved approximately $500,000 in taxpayer-funded testing.

Attorney General Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division works cooperatively with MassHealth and other state and federal agencies to prosecute fraud against the Massachusetts Medicaid program. In 2010, AG Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division recovered more than $66 million, breaking the previous record set in 2009 by more than $14.3 million. It marked the fourth consecutive year of increased recoveries. Based on the Medicaid Fraud Division's budget and factoring the federal reimbursement rate for Medicaid fraud enforcement, the 2010 recoveries represent a return of $40 for every $1 invested.

Assistant Attorney General Nancy Maroney of AG Coakley's Medicaid Fraud Division, is prosecuting this case and was investigated by Investigator Brian Robinson. Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office, investigators from the Massachusetts Insurance Fraud Bureau, and the Boston office of the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General also assisted in this case.

#######