On appeal from a Final Decision of the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners, Docket No. 25MA05617400.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Submitted October 13, 2010
Before Judges Skillman and Espinosa.
Appellant, Fredric Feit, M.D., appeals from a final decision of the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners (the Board) to suspend his medical license. We affirm.
Dr. Feit, a physician, was indicted on two second-degree counts of health care claims fraud, N.J.S.A. 2C:21-4.3(a), and one count of second-degree theft by deception, N.J.S.A. 2C:20-4(a) and N.J.S.A. 2C:2-6. Pursuant to a plea agreement, he pled guilty to a down-graded third-degree charge of theft by deception, waived his right to a restitution hearing, and agreed to pay full restitution to the insurance companies.
At his guilty plea, Dr. Feit admitted that, for more than six years, he had knowingly billed health insurance carriers for paraspinal nerve blocks when he had not used fluoroscopic guidance in performing the procedures despite the fact that the billing code he used for such procedures required the use of fluoroscopic guidance. He further admitted that he was paid by the carriers based upon these false billings. Dr. Feit was sentenced to five years probation and to pay $15,000 in fines and $581,978.12 in restitution.
In Dr. Feit's appeal from his conviction, he did not seek to withdraw his guilty plea but rather asked that the matter be remanded for a full plenary hearing on the issue of restitution and that the $15,000 fine be vacated. We affirmed his conviction and sentence in an unpublished opinion. State v. Fredric Feit, No. A-4940-08 (App. Div. May 19, 2010).
Following Dr. Feit's guilty plea, the State filed a complaint with the Board, seeking the revocation or suspension of his medical license, and later filed a motion for summary decision on the complaint and the imposition of appropriate sanctions. The Board granted the motion and proceeded to a mitigation hearing where it heard from Dr. Feit, his counsel, and six witnesses, five of whom were patients of Dr. Feit. After deliberations, the Board suspended Dr. Feit's license for a period of five years, with two years of active suspension.
In this appeal, Dr. Feit argues that a full plenary hearing was required before his license was suspended. After considering the record and briefs, we are satisfied that this argument lacks sufficient merit to warrant discussion in a written opinion beyond the brief comments that follow and, further, that the decision of the Board is supported by sufficient credible evidence. R. 2:11-3(e)(1)(D) and (E).
Dr. Feit's guilty plea established his conviction for "a crime . . . involving moral turpitude [and] relating adversely to the activity regulated by the board." See N.J.S.A. 45:1-21(f). He never disavowed those admissions and never identified any material issue of fact that required a plenary hearing. The Board was therefore fully justified in determining that summary decision was appropriate. See N.J.A.C. 1:1-12.5(b).
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