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For Immediate Release

Media Contact:
Raquel Guillory, 410-576-6357
rguillory@oag.state.md.us

Prince George’s County Podiatrist Pleads Guilty to Medicaid Fraud and Theft

BALTIMORE, MD (March 11, 2009) - Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler announced today that podiatrist Edward M. Horvath, 50, of the 8100 block of Clifford Court in Laurel pleaded guilty in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City to Medicaid fraud and theft from the Medicare program of more than $250,000.

Beginning in 2002 and continuing through 2007, Horvath, owner of Main Street Podiatry Center located in Laurel, billed the Medicaid and Medicare programs for providing podiatry services to residents in nursing homes and at senior centers. The billed services, however, were not necessary, not documented and not provided. The State found that Horvath’s patients did not have the conditions he described in his progress notes, and his patients did not receive the procedure that Horvath billed to Medicaid and Medicare. Instead, routinely, Dr. Horvath merely cut his patients’ toenails.

During its investigation of Horvath, the State hired an expert podiatrist who examined one patient a few hours before Horvath visited with the patient. The expert found no evidence of any foot problems, other than an elongated toenail. A few hours later, Horvath saw the patient, wrote in his progress notes that the patient had “painful” and elongated nails, that the patient’s toe was “painful even with light touch,” and that the patient had a tissue infection around the nail. Horvath then billed Medicare for an invasive procedure called an Incision and Drainage of an Abscess. Nurses who were in the room at the time of the nursing home resident’s visit with Horvath reported that he merely cut the patient’s toe nails.

Sentencing is scheduled for September 15, 2009 in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City. Medicaid fraud is a felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $100,000 fine. Felony theft is punishable by up to 15 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. This case was prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Maryland Attorney General’s Office who investigated this case in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.


   

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