Friday, April 21, 2017

Somerset doctor convicted of Medicaid fraud; sentenced to five years for falsifying smoking-cessation counseling sessions

Dr. Ezekiel Akande
(Photo from Twitter)
A Pulaski County judge sentenced a Somerset doctor on Friday, April 21, to five years in prison for felony Medicaid fraud.

A Pulaski County jury convicted Ezekiel Akande, who ran the Somerset Regional Pain Center, in March for receiving Medicaid payments for tobacco-cessation counseling sessions that he did not perform. The jury also convicted Akande of theft and ordered that he pay $10,000 in restitution.

The state Office of Medicaid Fraud and Abuse accused Akande of billing Medicaid for counseling sessions with patients who were not smokers, and smokers who did not wish to quit.

"Holding accountable those who defraud the government and Kentuckians is a responsibility my office takes very seriously," Attorney General Andy Beshear said in a news release. "We are working every day to protect Kentucky families from those who seek to exploit our health services for personal gain."

Only 1.4 percent of Kentucky Medicaid members who smoke received smoking-cessation counseling in 2015, the state said last year; 17 percent received smoking-cessation medications.

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