N.Y. Psychiatrist to Get Plenty of Couch Time; Receives 23-Count Indictment in Insurer Fraud Scam

September 10, 2004

New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer announced that a Nanuet psychiatrist has been charged with defrauding government insurers of more than $1 million by billing for services never rendered.

Dr. Justin Psaila, who maintains a private practice at his residence, was arraigned this week before Rockland County Court Judge Kenneth Resnick on a 23-count indictment. Dr. Psaila was charged with two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree and 20 counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.

According to the indictment, from January 1997 to November 2002, Dr. Psaila, 75, submitted thousands of false reimbursement claims stating that he had provided Medicaid and Medicare patients with various medical and psychiatric services, including psychiatric therapy with at least 37 minutes of face to face contact, when, as Dr. Psaila knew, the services had not been rendered. As a result, Dr. Psaila illegally received more than $400,000 from the Medicaid program and more than $600,000 from the Medicare program.

Spitzer noted that the matter of Dr. Psaila’s medical license would be referred to the State Health Department’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct.

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