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Anchorage physician indicted for Medicaid fraud topping $300,000

Tegan Hanlon
FILE -- Dr. Shubhranjan Ghosh, 39, founder of Ghosh Psychiatric Services, appeared at a bail hearing in the Anchorage jail court on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. Bill Roth | Alaska Dispatch News

An Anchorage grand jury indicted a physician Thursday on multiple felony charges accusing him of fraudulently billing Medicaid, tampering with physical evidence and misconduct involving a controlled substance.

Charging documents accuse Dr. Shubhranjan Ghosh, 39, of billing Medicaid more than $300,000 for services he never provided. During Ghosh’s bail hearing in April, reports of a conversation that the doctor had with an employee wearing a wire revealed that the overpayments from the government program may have exceeded $1 million.

The most accurate dollar figure will remain veiled until the state Department of Law releases a completed audit. By Friday, the document had not been made public, said Andrew Peterson, director of the state Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Ghosh, a psychiatrist who specializes in mental health services for children, was out of jail on $200,000 cash bail Friday and scheduled to appear in Anchorage Superior Court at 1:45 p.m. Monday. He wears an ankle monitor and cannot leave the city, Peterson said. Peterson said Ghosh is still practicing medicine but cannot bill Medicaid. 

The multi-agency investigation into Ghosh’s South Anchorage office began in September. Charges say that Ghosh, a sole practitioner, worked with his office manager to fraudulently bill Medicaid for three years starting in 2010. He made false charges for people including his office manager's seven children and his ex-girlfriend's children. 

The office manager told an employee that Ghosh submitted false billings to cover time spent on tasks like answering phone calls and writing emails for Medicaid-related cases, services he was not compensated for. The employee estimated the offices submitted five fraudulent bills each week, charges say.

At the April bail hearing, Peterson told the court that Ghosh had a prescription drug problem and wrote multiple opiate prescriptions for friends. Most of the 15 controlled substance charges he faces stem from the delivery of hydrocodone.

Ghosh’s office manager has not been charged but Peterson said the investigation is ongoing.

Since October 2012, the state says, it has ramped up efforts to combat Medicaid fraud and abuse. 

Recently, the state uncovered more than $628,000 in alleged Medicaid fraud at Good Faith Services, charging 45 people connected to the personal care provider. In January, the state prosecuted an employee with the Municipality of Anchorage who falsely billed Medicaid for more than $64,000 in personal care attendant services.