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Doc charges DC government for poor patients who never got treatment

A District doctor was convicted Thursday of overcharging the D.C. government about $133,000 for services he never performed for poor patients, federal prosecutors said.

Ehigiator O. Akhigbe, 56, billed the District’s Medicaid program for “invasive surgical procedures” and for “ghost office visits,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Lionel Andre wrote in court papers.

For example, prosecutors alleged, Akhigbe billed the government for seeing 86 patients and performing surgeries on Thanksgiving Day 2003 and Memorial Day 2004.

Authorities were not able to locate any patients who were treated by Akhigbe on those days.

Akhigbe of Silver Spring practiced general medicine at Mercigab Medical Center and Pain Clinic in Northwest Washington, prosecutors said.

Akhigbe is scheduled to be sentenced March 19 in the District’s federal court. The billing scam lasted from December 2002 through May 2005, prosecutors alleged. A jury convicted him of one count of health care fraud and 16 counts of false statements in health care matters.

-- Del Quentin Wilber

By Del Wilber  |  December 18, 2009; 1:22 PM ET
Categories:  Del Quentin Wilber , From the Courthouse , The District  
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