Medicare and Medicaid paid a New Orleans doctor more than $600,000 for care she did not give to patients, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
The indictment filed in U.S. district court in New Orleans alleges that Maria Carmen Palazzo, M.D. -- under contract as medical director for psychiatric and partial-hospitalization programs at Touro Infirmary in New Orleans -- routinely billed the government for patient visits she didn't make and fraudulently billed Touro for time she falsely claimed was spent on administrative duties. Palazzo also was charged with 15 counts of fraud for failure to maintain records in a clinical study of Paxil. SmithKline Beecham, the drug's manufacturer, had hired Palazzo as a clinical investigator in a study of Paxil's effect on adolescents. The indictment contends Palazzo repeatedly failed to note prior psychiatric and other problems among the subjects of her study.
Palazzo could not be reached for comment.