Pennsylvania foot doctor arrested in $155,000 Medicaid fraud case

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Trimming toenails and charging Medicaid for the service has resulted in charges against a Montgomery County foot doctor.

Robert Kanowitz

Robert Kanowitz

The Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Section announced the arrest of Robert Kanowitz, 55, of Wynnewood, Pa., for submitting false insurance claims and bilking insurance companies out of more than $155,000.

Kanowitz allegedly submitted claims for performing nail avulsions, a surgical procedure to remove part of a toenail, when he was really only trimming toenails, a service not compensable under the Medical Assistance program, according to officials.

A grand jury recommended charges against Kanowitz after an investigation where one of the affected insurance companies alerted the attorney general’s office about an unusually high number of nail avulsions. The investigation unveiled that Kanowitz allegedly billed various insurers for more than 3,600 nail avulsions from January 2005 to January 2008, and received more than $155,000 from the fraudulent claims.

Kanowitz faces single counts of Medicaid fraud, theft by deception and receiving stolen property. He was arraigned in a Montgomery County court and released on $50,000 unsecured bail.

“Medicaid fraud is a crime that affects everyone in the form of increasing medical costs,” Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett said in a statement. “Almost every Pennsylvanian is feeling the burden of rising medical fees, and our agents take these allegations very seriously.”

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