Med Board Fines Newtown Psychiatrist, Ansonia Doctor

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The state Medical Examining Board on Tuesday disciplined three doctors, including fining a Newtown psychiatrist $15,000 for submitting false insurance claims.

In 2016, the doctor, Naimetulla Syed, paid $422,641 to resolve allegations that he submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid between 2009 and 2013, state and federal officials said in a news release at the time.

An investigation revealed that he used a code for psychotherapy sessions lasting 45 to 50 minutes when in most cases, he only saw the patients for five to 30 minutes, the release said.

The medical board also placed Syed’s medical license on probation for a year in connection with the false claims. Syed, who also has an office in Glastonbury, must complete courses in medical documentation.

The state Department of Social Services had audited 100 of Syed’s patient charts and found that each chart lacked a treatment plan, according to a consent order cover sheet. Of those, 65 charts lacked basic patient demographic information and Syed’s signature. Numerous visits were submitted for medication management for patients for whom Syed did not prescribe medications, the cover sheet said. Some billings were for doctor visits that never occurred, it said.

In 2013, Syed had been fined $5,000 by the board for similar allegations that he billed insurance in 2010 for patient visits that never occurred, state records show.

The board also fined an Ansonia doctor $5,000 for prescribing excessive doses of opioids without documenting the need for the drugs.

The board also permanently restricted Dr. Joel Zaretsky from prescribing controlled substances for more than 15 days, except in acute cases. It placed his license on probation for 18 months. During the probation, he must hire a doctor to randomly review his patient medical records and he must take courses in diagnosing and managing back pain, erectile dysfunction and Type 2 diabetes, according to a consent order Zaretsky agreed to. In signing the order, Zaretsky chose not to contest the allegations but admitted no wrongdoing.

Besides prescribing the opioids to excess in 2016, Zaretsky continued to prescribe opioids to a patient who he knew was enrolled in a methadone addiction treatment program, the consent order said. State records show he also deviated from the standard of care in assessing and managing back pain, Type 2 diabetes and erectile dysfunction in patients.

The board revoked the Connecticut license of Dr. Mohan Kaza of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, who, records show, was convicted of operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated in 2014 in Michigan. The board also found that in 2014, Kaza failed to report that felony conviction when renewing his Connecticut license, the board’s memorandum of decision said.

Kaza also used alcohol to excess in 2013 and 2016 in Michigan, which it found affects his practice as a physician, the memo said. Kaza was also disciplined by Michigan officials.