Virginia Beach Psychiatrist sentenced for Health Care Fraud Scheme

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) – The U.S. Department of Justice says a Virginia Beach doctor was sentenced to 27 months in prison for defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and Tricare, and other health care benefits programs out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

According to the Department of Justice, 64-year-old Udaya K. Shetty agreed to pay more than $1 million to settle related civil claims.

Shetty was a licensed psychiatrist practicing medicine at his own practice, Behavioral & Neuropsychiatric Group, according to court records.

According to court documents, in 2013 Shetty created a system by which he could over-bill healthcare benefit programs by seeing patients for only five to 10 minutes but then billing for services that were on average 41 to 63 minutes long.

Shetty instructed his staff to often double, triple, or even quadruple book appointment times, said the Department of Justice.

The fraud became apparent when investigators discovered that on dozens of instances Shetty would need more than 24 hours a day of working to perform the services for which he billed.

Shetty closed his own practice and joined another psychiatric practice, Quietly Radiant Psychiatric Services in 2017. While at the practice, Shetty and one of his former employees, Mary Otto, engaged in a similar scheme.

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