A Richmond acupuncturist who allegedly over-billed the provincial medical system for close to $2 million and was suspended by the College of Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners and Acupuncturists of B.C. could face being fined and struck off its list.
Earlier this year, Dr. Mubai Qiu, who runs Mu Bai Enterprise Corp. on Odlin Cresc., was under investigation after the CTCMA became aware of his claim of treating more than 461 patients in a single day in his small clinic.
He was suspended on July 26. In the CTCMA's reason for judgement released last week, it stated Qiu failed to maintain adequate clinical records to document patient history, and engaged in excessive mis-billing with insufficient evidence to support that acupuncture services were provided to patients covered by MSP and private insurers.
The CTCMA hired a private investigator in March to monitor activities at Qiu's clinic and on several occasions noted very little traffic in and out of the premises at a time when up to two dozen patients a day were recorded as receiving services billed to private insurers.
Other evidence from a former patient's testimony indicated they received limited services, yet were recorded as having been treated on 10 occasions from January to March 2012.
Thi Tran testified she visited the clinic in hopes of relieving back pain and declined acupuncture treatment. She was then asked to sign a set of 10 treatment records that already had her name and personal health care number.
In addition, the CTCMA presented another individual, Mathew Nguyen, who had never even been to the clinic or received any acupuncture treatments, with a document purported to be a treatment record.
It contained his name, correct personal health care number, date of birth, address, phone number and a false signature. The document claimed the individual had undergone 10 treatments from January to February 2012.
Further evidence showed one patient, Huong Thi Nguyen, whose English was limited, was told to sign a form 10 times in order to receive free medication for her son's knee problem.
Nguyen was allegedly told her son did not need to visit the office in person.
She identified her signature on the document, but conceded she couldn't read English and didn't know what she was signing. Mary Watterson, registrar for the CTCMA told the News penalties for Qiu's alleged actions could include fines, re-payment of court costs, being removed from the college's list and prevented from practising. Watterson added, the province's MSP may also require Qiu to repay the alleged mis-billing.
It's also possible Qiu, who is thought to still be in the country, could face a criminal investigation involving the MSP and private insurers. A decision on the CTCMA's penalties is expected sometime this month.
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