Dr. Brij R. Vaid, 56, and nurse practitioner Donna A. Waldo, 57, both of St. Louis County, Missouri, were charged by Indictment with alleged conspiracy to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare and Medicaid regarding “face to face” office visits submitted under Dr. Vaid’s personal billing number while he was actually out of town.
Dr. Vaid was also charged with six counts of making and presenting false claims, according to a press release April 3, from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Missouri. The conspiracy charge and the charge of making and presenting false claims to the United States both carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.
As is always the case, charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations and do not constitute proof of guilt. Dr. Vaid and Waldo are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The Indictment alleges that Dr. Vaid often prescribed powerful opiate and opioid pain relief drugs to his patients, including Opana, Hydrocodone, and Oxycontin. Dr. Vaid also employed physician assistants in his medical office, but these physician assistants could not prescribe these opiate and opioid pain relief drugs to patients, according to the press release. But when he was away on travel, his physician assistants allegedly handed out prescriptions for these controlled substance pain relief drugs “that Dr. Vaid had “pre-signed” before leaving town without first examining the patients,” prosecutors said. Dr. Vaid then allegedly presented claims for payment to Medicaid and Medicare in which authorities allege, he represented that he was the person providing the “face to face” office visits with the patients that occurred while he was actually out of town.