‘Doctor’ accused of practicing without license

Phil­adelphia au­thor­it­ies ar­res­ted a Delaware County man last week for al­legedly prac­ti­cing medi­cine at a North­east clin­ic even though he does not have a med­ic­al li­cense.

The dis­trict at­tor­ney’s of­fice charged Patrick Usanga, 63, of Fol­croft, on April 10 with in­sur­ance fraud (27 counts), theft by de­cep­tion (11 counts), at­temp­ted theft (27 counts) and tam­per­ing with pub­lic re­cords (10 counts), stem­ming from an in­vest­ig­a­tion in­to North­east Be­ha­vi­or­al Medi­cine at 6800 Castor Ave. The DA’s of­fice, the So­cial Se­cur­ity Ad­min­is­tra­tion and the U.S. De­part­ment of Labor began the probe last year after an In­de­pend­ence Blue Cross in­vest­ig­at­or tipped them about the pos­sible fraud.

Usanga opened and in­cor­por­ated the busi­ness as “a med­ic­al clin­ic provid­ing psy­chi­at­ric and chem­ic­al treat­ment coun­sel­ing,” the DA’s of­fice said, al­though no one at the fa­cil­ity, in­clud­ing Usanga, was li­censed to provide such treat­ment.

Non­ethe­less, Usanga al­legedly sought re­im­burse­ments of more than $15,000 from In­de­pend­ence Blue Cross and $5,000 from Aet­na for men­tal health pro­ced­ures per­formed at the clin­ic. Pa­tients of the clin­ic al­legedly told in­vest­ig­at­ors that Usanga provided their med­ic­al treat­ments, al­though claim forms filed by Usanga to in­sur­ance com­pan­ies iden­ti­fied oth­er em­ploy­ees as the at­tend­ing phys­i­cians. None of those “pro­viders” held med­ic­al li­censes. 

In a sep­ar­ate al­leged scam linked to the clin­ic, Usanga filed for un­em­ploy­ment in March 2009 and col­lec­ted more than $55,000 in com­pens­a­tion, al­though re­cords show that he saw pa­tients, sub­mit­ted forms to in­sur­ance com­pan­ies and re­ceived in­sur­ance re­im­burse­ments dur­ing the peri­od when he claimed to be un­em­ployed. He re­por­ted to the state’s un­em­ploy­ment com­pens­a­tion sys­tem that he was seek­ing em­ploy­ment at North­east Be­ha­vi­or­al Medi­cine, al­though he op­er­ated the fa­cil­ity, ac­cord­ing to the DA’s of­fice.

The state’s De­part­ment of Pub­lic Wel­fare re­voked the med­ic­al cen­ter’s li­cense last year after learn­ing that the cen­ter did not em­ploy any li­censed doc­tors or coun­selors.

Usanga is in Phil­adelphia pris­on cus­tody in lieu of $200,000 bail. A pre­lim­in­ary hear­ing date has not been set. ••  

Re­port­er Wil­li­am Kenny can be reached at 215-354-3031 or wkenny@bsmphilly.com

You can reach at wkenny@bsmphilly.com.

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