Michigan physician pleads guilty to fraudulent billing, to pay $500K

A Muskegon, Mich., physician has pleaded guilty to billing Medicare, Medicaid and Blue Cross Blue Shield for services she didn't perform, the U.S. Justice Department said June 7. 

Soaries Maxine Peterson, MD, 68, admitted she billed for office visits when she was out of state or out of the office performing other services. Patients met with unlicensed office staff during these visits. 

Dr. Peterson also allegedly wrote prescriptions for controlled substances without a legitimate medical purpose. She has surrendered her Drug Enforcement Administration registration and agreed to never reapply for a new one, preventing her from ever prescribing controlled substances again. 

She pleaded guilty to one count of healthcare fraud May 25 and agreed to pay $500,000 to the U.S. and state of Michigan to settle civil and federal claims. She is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 7, and faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison. 


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