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WNY online pharmacy penalized by state over Medicaid billing

A Western New York-based online pharmacy has agreed to pay nearly $500,000 in restitution and damages to the state for improperly billing Medicaid for prescriptions written by a doctor who had been excluded from the government program.

Vascuscript Inc., which does business as Mobile Pharmacy Solutions, agreed to the settlement with state Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman to resolve state allegations that it submitted and received payment on about 4,600 claims to Medicaid for prescriptions written by Dr. Mikhail Strutsovskiy from April 21, 2010, through Jan. 25, 2013. Strutsovskiy had previously been excluded from Medicaid by the state Health Department, so his prescriptions are not eligible for reimbursement. Pharmacies are supposed to check before submitting claims.

Vascuscript, which is based at 644 Ellicott St. in Buffalo, near the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, is an independently owned online and mail-order pharmacy that also offers durable medical equipment, immunizations, disease management and free in-home consultations. The firm is led by CEO Dean P. Trzewieczynski. Under the settlement, it agreed to repay $442,000 to the state, plus $36,000 in damages under the New York False Claims Act.

“When Medicaid payment is obtained for prescriptions ordered by an excluded Medicaid provider, New York tax dollars are spent on services which are ineligible for such payment,” Schneiderman said. “My office will continue working to root out Medicaid fraud and recover unlawfully claimed funds, so that Medicaid can continue providing critical services for those in need.”

email: jepstein@buffnews.com