Attorney General Bill McCollum announced the arrest today of Dr. Urmundalvaru Mallikarjuna, 52, a pediatrician from DeFuniak Springs.
Mallikarjuna allegedly billed the state Medicaid program over the last three years for services for which he knew he could not be reimbursed.
The Walton County Sheriff’s Office assisted the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in making the arrest.
MFCU investigators discovered Mallikarjuna created a scheme to bill the Medicaid program for providing Medicaid-recipient children with a physical exam, or a “well visit,” when the children had been brought in for a “sick” visit in order to double his payment from Medicaid. Several former employees who had attended seminars on Medicaid billing told investigators they had explained to Dr. Mallikarjuna that this billing practice was illegal. Investigators learned that Mallikarjuna used a modifier code in the billing process in order to further conceal the fraud.
Dr. Mallikarjuna also allegedly billed the Medicaid program for office visits with children that were in reality brief phone conversations with their parents.
The total of Mallikarjuna’s fraudulent billing was $101,657.80. Mallikarjuna was booked into the Walton County Jail under one count of organized scheme to defraud and one count of wire fraud. If convicted for both counts, Mallikarjuna is facing a term of imprisonment of up to 35 years along with a $15,000 fine.
The case will be prosecuted by the Florida Attorney General’s Office under the authority of the State Attorney’s Office for the First Judicial Circuit.