- Associated Press - Tuesday, August 18, 2015

HONOLULU (AP) - After a circuit judge decided to uphold a ruling clearing a Hilo obstetrician of allegations of fraud, the doctor says he will seek reimbursement from the state and insurers.

Dr. Frederick Nitta was suspended from receiving Medicaid reimbursements amid allegations of bilking more than $1 million from the program.

On Friday, Circuit Judge Greg Nakamura upheld a February ruling by a state hearings officer that overturned the suspension, Hawaii News Now reports (https://bit.ly/1Lh6Hor). Both rulings found there were mistakes made in the way Medicaid was billed but there was no intentional fraud.

Nitta’s attorney Eric Seitz said the doctor is seeking Medicaid reimbursements of several thousand dollars from when claims were suspended.

“There are hundreds of thousands of dollars of reimbursements that should have been paid that have been held back,” Seitz said. “Most doctors would have gone out of business because of this experience. He basically financed his practice, didn’t pay himself and paid his staff out of pocket.”

Nitta’s practice is known for treating primarily Medicaid, Medicare or Medquest patients. His practice of drug testing expecting mothers for 14 different types of drugs landed him in trouble. Nitta was billing insurers for each of the 14 tests, when he was only allowed to bill for one.

Seitz said Nitta’s error is common due to how complicated medical billing rules can be.

“I’m very seriously contemplating filing a lawsuit against the people in the department who have been pursuing Dr. Nitta because frankly there never has been any justification for any of this,” said Seitz.

Nitta said he is happy the ordeal is over, even though it cost him.

“I never committed any fraud, I know that and everybody else knows that,” Nitta said. “I don’t even care about the money. The point is I’m trying to help people.”

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