Psychology Clinic Operator Accused of Health-Insurance Fraud

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Photo credit: FBI.gov

The owner of a San Diego-area neuropsychology practice was charged Monday with a dozen felony health insurance fraud counts stemming from an alleged three-year, multimillion-dollar phony billing scheme.

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Michael Howard Kabat, owner of Neuropsychology Consult Services, is accused of fraudulently charging Blue Shield of California, the Medicare Trust Fund and Scripps Health Plan Services in excess of $2.2 million.

Prosecutors allege the defendant’s assistants routinely performed lengthy neuropsychological examinations that Kabat billed under a code indicating that he personally conducted the procedures, resulting in more reimbursements than he otherwise would have received, and at a higher rate of pay.

In total, Kabat, who runs clinics in Del Mar and University City, received $551,000 from the insurance companies under the alleged scheme from late 2012 to early 2016.

Additionally, he is charged with two counts of grand theft of labor for allegedly failing to pay his assistants their hourly rate for services provided to him, as required under California law, and four tax evasion-related counts for purportedly categorizing those workers as independent contractors rather than employees.

Kabat, 50, also faces seven perjury charges for allegedly filing documents containing false information with the California Board of Psychology.

The defendant was arraigned in San Diego Superior Court along with his biller, Leslie Hendrix, 33. Kabat and Hendrix, also known as Leslie Lowe, are each charged with three counts of health insurance fraud and additional felony counts for allegedly creating false documents in support of a claim for health insurance benefits.

The investigation into Kabat’s billing was conducted over a two-year period and involved the San Diego County District Attorney’s Office, U.S. Office of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General, the FBI, Department of Consumer Affairs, California Board of Psychology and state Department of Insurance.

City News Service

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