A Manhattan Beach urologist was sentenced Monday to nearly six years in federal prison for submitting fraudulent billings totaling more than $700,000 to Medicare for medically unnecessary and nonexistent treatments, sometimes billing for purported patient visits miles apart and occurring at the exact same time.
Mark Wilfred Tamarin, 65, was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer to pay nearly $345,000 in restitution.
After a seven-day trial in July, a jury found Tamarin guilty of six counts of wire fraud and one count of attempted health care fraud. He has been in federal custody since the trial’s conclusion.
According to evidence presented at trial, Tamarin was a partner Advanced Urology Medical Offices, which had offices in Torrance and West Los Angeles, from 1987 until 2014. The majority of the practice’s patients were covered by Medicare.
From January 2009 until January 2013, Tamarin billed Medicare for services he did not and could not have performed at AUMO and also ordered medically unnecessary tests, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
As part of his practice, Tamarin covered Kindred Hospital, a sub-acute medical center in Ladera Heights, for AUMO. Kindred is a facility designed for patients with serious medical problems and in need of long-term care, but for whom a traditional hospital setting is unnecessary. There, he billed for numerous patient visits that never happened and for services he never provided, federal prosecutors said.
The evidence presented at trial showed that on multiple occasions between 2009 and 2013, Tamarin submitted billings purporting to be treating patients in two places miles apart at the same time.
At his office at AUMO, Tamarin ordered medically unnecessary tests for his patients, according to prosecutors. In particular, he ordered two to three times the number of post-void residual tests and renal ultrasounds for urology patients in comparison to his three medical partners, evidence showed.
Tamarin ordered those tests before speaking with or seeing a patient despite the fact that the tests themselves only were appropriate in limited medical circumstances, according to prosecutors.
In total, Tamarin generated more than $700,000 in bogus billings, which caused Medicare to pay $219,934 in fraudulent Kindred claims and $124,802 in medically unnecessary residual tests and renal ultrasound claims.