A Quincy-based dentist who was banned from the state’s Medicaid program has been indicted in connection with an alleged scheme to fraudulently bill MassHealth under another dentist’s name, Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday.
Dr. Shahrzad Haghayegh-Askarian, age 43, of Norwell, was indicted by a statewide grand jury on charges of Medicaid false claims (2 counts) and larceny over $1,200 (2 counts). Haghayegh-Askarian’s company, Dazzling Smile Care PC, located in Quincy, was also indicted on the same charges.
An audit by the State Auditor’s Office uncovered Medicaid fraud committed by Haghayegh-Askarian. Following that audit, Haghayegh-Askarian agreed to a $300,000 settlement with the AG’s Office in 2015 and was terminated from participating in the MassHealth program. The settlement stipulated that she could only re-enroll with MassHealth if she met standards of compliance and instituted a monitoring program mutually agreed upon by Haghayegh-Askarian and the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Division.
The AG’s Office alleges that, despite her termination from MassHealth, from April 2014 to December 2017, Haghayegh-Askarian continued to treat MassHealth patients and billed those services under the name and identification number of another dentist, without his knowledge or authorization. That dentist contacted the Office of the State Auditor to report this alleged fraudulent activity when he learned of it in September 2017.
“I commend my staff and the staff of Attorney General Healey for their work to bring charges against Dr. Haghayegh-Askarian,” said State Auditor Suzanne Bump. “Her license should be immediately revoked, and her continued, brazen abuse of MassHealth should be punished.”
“This matter illustrates the commitment of all agencies to combat medical billing fraud which affects all citizens,” said Anthony DiPaolo, chief of investigations at the Insurance Fraud Bureau of Massachusetts. “The IFB places a high priority on fighting this type of insurance fraud. The collaboration in this matter is unprecedented.”