Gainesville physician and former Reliant Family Practice owner Erik Schabert and his ex-wife and former office manager Mika Kamissa Harris have both surrendered on a federal indictment charging them with health care fraud.
The indictment alleges that Schabert, 48, and Harris, 49, defrauded health care benefit programs of $4.4 million through fraudulent claims from January 2013 to July 2016. It further alleges that Harris laundered approximately $3.1 million of the fraud scheme.
Between Schabert and Harris, 48 false claims ranging from $450 to $1,000 were charged to Blue Cross Blue Shield, Medicare and Medicare Advantage. Harris is charged with an additional 40 counts of money laundering ranging from $22,000 to $210,000 involving Florida Credit Union and American Express.
The indictment, which was released Thursday and announced on Monday, said Schabert and Harris submitted claims for “chemical peels, dermabrasions and acne surgery using the false and fictitious diagnoses of rosacea, acne and actinic keratosis.”
To show written support for these false claims, the indictment alleged the pair “caused false entries to be made in patients’ medical charts reflecting that these procedures had actually been performed.”
Schabert’s practice was in the Haile Village Center in Haile Plantation after its relocation from northwest Gainesville. In November 2017, Schabert posted on Reliant Family Practice’s Facebook page that he would be shutting down for good by Dec. 22.
“Unexpected legal and financial setbacks have made further operation of the practice impossible,” he wrote.
On Dec.18, Schabert posted again saying he’d taken a new position with Celebrate Primary Care in Gainesville.
“Working at Celebrate simply allows me to deliver better quality care than I ever could under a traditional insurance model,” he wrote. “While it does involve paying an additional monthly fee for access to primary care, it also allows me to save my patients money on a great deal of services they still may need to pay out of pocket for under a traditional care model.”
On Tuesday morning, Celebrate co-owner Lisa Magary wrote, “He is not with our practice. We have no comment.”
The trial is set for April 24.
If convicted, both Schabert and Harris face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for health care fraud conspiracy and 10 years for each of the 48 health care fraud counts. Harris faces a maximum term of 10 years in prison for each of the 40 money laundering counts.