Manhattan Psychologist Admits Billing For Phantom Sessions

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that a Union Square psychologist has admitted to fraudulently billing the Medicaid program for psychotherapy sessions that never took place. In one instance, the psychologist saw an undercover agent, posing as a Medicaid recipient, for only two sessions yet billed the State for forty-two sessions at $36 per visit.

Dr. Ronald Katz appeared today before Manhattan Criminal Court Judge Cynthia Kern and pleaded guilty to Attempted Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Attempted Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree. As part of his plea, Dr. Katz will make restitution of $127,000 to the Medicaid program for thousands of psychotherapy sessions that were never provided to patients. He was immediately sentenced to a conditional discharge.

"The taxpayer-funded Medicaid system was designed to assist citizens in need, not medical professionals looking to pad their income," said Spitzer. "My office will continue to aggressively pursue and prosecute those individuals who steal from the taxpayers of this state."

Spitzer thanked the State Health Department for referring the matter to his office.

Dr. Ronald Katz, 43, lives at 20 Waterside Plaza in Manhattan. His office is located at One Irving Place, also in Manhattan.

The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Michael R. Berlowitz, of the New York City Regional Office of Attorney General Spitzer's Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. All cases are handled under the direct supervision of Deputy Attorney General Jos? Maldonado.