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A federal grand jury has indicted San Francisco acupuncturist Haichao Huang, charging him with health care fraud and making false statements relating to health care billing.

Huang, was a health care provider who offered acupuncture, physical therapy, massage, and other services at his office in San Francisco.

The indictment alleges that Huang submitted claims for reimbursement to his patients’ health insurance plans, claiming that he provided reimbursable services and treatments when, in fact, he knew that the billings were false and not properly reimbursable.

The indictment gives three examples of the ways in which Huang allegedly submitted billings for reimbursement. First, Huang submitted requests for reimbursement for acupuncture and other treatments when, in fact, the patient had received either much shorter periods of treatment or no treatment at all.

Second, after a patient reached the limit of acupuncture sessions allowed by the relevant insurance plan, Huang billed the plan for other types of treatments and services that were not provided in order to continue receiving improper reimbursements.

Third, Huang submitted claims for services rendered on days when the patient beneficiaries were not seen and received no services at all – including days when Huang was not in California.

Huang is charged with six counts of health care fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1347, and one count of false statement relating to health care matters, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1035(a)(2).

If convicted, the defendant faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and $250,000 for each violation of 18 U.S.C. § 371. The defendant faces five years in prison and a fine of $250,000 if convicted of the violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1035(a)(2).

Huang pleaded not guilty and was released on bond. Huang’s first appearance before a district court judge is scheduled for March 22, 2019, before the Hon. Susan Illston, U.S. District Judge.

This prosecution is the result of investigations by the Office of Personnel Management Office of Inspector General and the Department of Labor Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office.