Tom White, the former CFO for Dr. Tariq Mahmood’s Texas hospitals has been charged with meaningful use fraud and aggravated identity theft in the Eastern District of Texas, FBI.gov reports. According to the indictment by a federal grand jury, White falsely attested to Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that Shelby Regional Medical Center (Shelby Regional) successfully met the meaningful use requirements for the 2012 fiscal year.
To give the impression of using a certified EHR, White directed its EHR vendor, eCareSoft and hospital employees to manually enter data from paper records into the EHR system after the patient was discharged to meet the MU thresholds criteria.
Additionally, White falsely attested to meaningful use by using another person’s name and information without that individual’s consent or authorization. The false attestation resulted in CMS paying Shelby Regional $785,655 in January 2013. Medicaid and Medicare EHR incentive programs paid hospitals operated Dr. Mahmood, including Shelby Regional $16,794,462.66 for fiscal years 2011 and 2012.
“As more and more federal dollars are made available to providers to adopt Electronic Health Record systems, our office is expecting to see more cases like this one,” said Special Agent in Charge Mike Fields of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) Dallas Regional Office. “The Office of Inspector General is committed to protecting the millions of taxpayer dollars used to pay providers to adopt Electronic Health Record systems.”
White has pleaded not guilty to the charges, Dallas News reports. If convicted, White could possibly face up to five years in federal prison for making a false statement and up to two years in federal prison for aggravated identity theft.