Mass. Physician Pleads Guilty to Health Care Fraud

A Cambridge, Massachusetts physician pleaded guilty last week in federal court and admitted to submitting false billings to the Medicare program.

United States Attorney Michael Sullivan and Kenneth Kaiser, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England, announced that Dr. Vladimir Shurlan, 60, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Nathaniel Gorton to a one-count criminal Information that charged him with engaging in a scheme to commit health care fraud.

At last Friday’s plea hearing, Shurlan reportedly admitted that he defrauded the Medicare program by submitting false billings indicating that he had provided certain services to patients that he had not in fact provided. Shurlan also acknowledged that he submitted billings to the Medicare program and to various private insurance companies that misrepresented the medical services that he was actually providing, and that he continued to bill in this manner even after he received a letter from a private insurance company advising him that his billing practices represented a “gross mis-representation of the services performed.”

Between Aug. 10, 2000, and Jan. 23, 2003, Shurlan received Medicare reimbursements totaling approximately $46,540, which was at least $24,601 more than he would have received had he accurately described the treatments he was providing.

Judge Gorton scheduled sentencing for Aug 3, 2005. In a plea agreement the United States and Shurlan have agreed to recommend to the Court a sentencing range that could result in 6 to12 months in prison or home detention, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Additionally, Shurlan has agreed to pay $56,425 to various private insurance companies that were defrauded by his conduct.

In a separate civil settlement with the United States, Shurlan has also agreed to pay a total of $89,153 to the United States to resolve liability under the False Claims Act in connection with his submission of fraudulent claims to Medicare.

Shurlan, whose state medical license was previously suspended by the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine in connection with unrelated issues, has also agreed to be excluded from participating in the Medicare program for 10 years.