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Paula T. Dow,
Attorney General

Division of Consumer Affairs
Thomas R. Calcagni, Director

 

 

For Immediate Release:
November 22, 2011
For Further Information Contact:
Jeff Lamm, 973-504-6327
Neal Buccino, 973-504-6327
 

N.J. Supreme Court Denies Physician's Request to Stay Temporary License Suspension Enacted by Consumer Affairs' Board of Medical Examiners

NEWARK - A Union and Essex County pain management physician, indicted in August on criminal charges of having fraudulently billed Medicare and private insurers for more than $50 million, will remain barred from practice after the N.J. Supreme Court denied a motion by the physician to stay an order of temporary suspension issued by the State Board of Medical Examiners earlier this month.

The Board of Medical Examiners, after reviewing the record of a 10 hour hearing before a committee, ordered the temporary suspension of the medical license of Dr. Amgad Hessein, 54. The Board found that Hessein had fabricated medical records to support his fraudulent billings and that those records could not be trusted to determine if his care was appropriate. Nor could his records - which purported to document pain treatment on days when his office was not even open -- be relied upon by other health care professionals who subsequently treated his patients.

"Without an accurate record of medical care, these patients are put at risk, and the Board appropriately found that the fabrication of medical records presents a clear and imminent threat to the public health, safety, and welfare." Attorney General Paula T. Dow said. "Dr. Hessein's alleged actions raised concerns that required the Board to take immediate action to protect the public."

"The emergent action taken by the Board was necessary," said Thomas R. Calcagni, Director of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs. "Health care fraud not only depletes scarce dollars from the resources available to those in need of medical services, but, when perpetrated through a pervasive pattern of record fabrication, it leaves vulnerable patients without the ability to receive care tailored to their needs."

The Board's order of temporary license suspension will remain in effect indefinitely, pending further action of the Board and completion of a full hearing on the ten count complaint, alleging gross negligence, extensive fraud and indiscriminate prescribing of Controlled Dangerous Substances.

Division of Law Deputy Attorney General Kay R. Ehrenkrantz of the Professional Boards Prosecution Section, represented the State in this matter, with the assistance of investigators from the Division of Consumer Affairs' Enforcement Bureau.

View the Board's Order

View the Committee's Order

View the Complaint

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