Dot-based MD pleads guilty to fraud in MassHealth case

A 62-year-old Hanover man who practiced medicine in Dorchester pleaded guilty last week to a scheme that targeted men and women with opioid addictions. Dr. Ashok Patel, whose Ambama Clinic was based out of Carney Hospital, was indicted in 2017 after an investigation by Attorney General Maura Healey’s office.

“Dr. Patel illegally charged patients seeking treatment for substance use disorder and turned those away who could not pay,” Healey said in a statement announcing his guilty plea. “We must continue to combat the opioid epidemic on all fronts, including going after those who seek to illegally profit off the opioid crisis and put up barriers to life-saving treatment.”

Patel was sentenced to three years of probation with the first four months under house arrest. Judge Robert N. Tochka also ordered Patel to resign his license to practice medicine within 24 hours of sentencing.

Healey’s office said that Patel and his clinic solicited and received more than $15,000 in payments from MassHealth members for substance abuse treatment services that were already covered by MassHealth. Patel and the Ambama Clinic must pay $15,855 in restitution to 30 MassHealth members from whom he stole, according to Healey.