Indian American physician from Missouri indicted for health care fraud

Vaid failed to stop prescribing when patients’ urine tested positive for illegal drugs

An Indian American Dr. Brij R Vaid and his nurse practitioner Donna A. Waldo have been indicted after the former pre-signed prescriptions to patients and falsely claimed to Medicare and Medicaid regarding “face to face” office visits.

According to the Justice Department, Dr. Brj R Vaid has several offices across St. Louis County and employed physician assistants who prescribed powerful opiate and opioid pain relief drugs to patients, including Opana, Hydrocodone, and Oxycontin on his pre-signed prescriptions.

The department found that the prescriptions were given to the patients by Vaid’s assistants even when he was out of town or even out of the country. Physician assistants are not legally permitted to prescribe medicines to patients.

The prosecutors also alleged that Vaid’s office would make misrepresentations to Medicare and Medicaid by submitting bills as if he was personally present during the visits of his patients.

The indictment report also says that the pre-signed prescriptions were prepared by the doctor for each patient referring to the case history and based the previous prescription.

According to St. Louis Post Despatch, Vaid failed to stop prescribing when patients’ urine tested positive for illegal drugs or showed they were not taking the drugs he prescribed.

Vaid, 56, and Waldo, 57, face a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000 if they are found guilty of the conspiracy charge and the charge of making and presenting false claims to the United States.

Steven M. Sherman, Vaid’s attorney, when contacted by St. Louis Post Despatch, called him “a caring physician with dedicated patients.”

“We regret that the government has chosen this path, and Dr. Vaid will vigorously fight these charges,” Sherman said in an emailed statement to St. Louis Post Dispatch.

The case was investigated by the Offices of Inspector General for the US Department of Health and Human Services, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit of the Missouri Attorney General’s Office, and the US Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

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