A Texas physician has been sentenced to 11 years in prison and
must pay $14 million in restitution for his role in a power
wheelchair scam that led to the creation of Operation Wheeler
Dealer, a massive crackdown on Medicare fraud and abuse.
Dr. Anat Mauskar, 73, was convicted in November on 20 counts of
health care fraud and one count of conspiracy.
Prosecutors said that from 2001 to 2003, Mauskar submitted false
claims for Medicare beneficiaries unlawfully referred to him for
power wheelchairs. Several beneficiaries testified that Mauskar did
not examine them and that tests were performed before they even saw
the physician. Mauskar billed Medicare for more than $13 million
and was paid $1.6 million in the scheme.
Prosecutors also said Mauskar signed forms falsely claiming he
personally evaluated and supervised physical therapy and evaluation
After the fraud scheme came to light in 2003, CMS and the Office
of Inspector General announced Operation Wheeler Dealer, an
initiative aimed at curbing fraud and abuse of the Medicare power
wheelchair benefit. The campaign included aggressive scrutiny of
power wheelchair claims, particularly in the Houston area.