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Federal case against Turlock doctor dropped
U.S. attorney, department of justice

A Turlock dermatologist has had federal insurance billing fraud charges dropped against him after he agreed to repay the money.

In 2017, a federal grand jury returned an eight-count indictment against Dr. Basil Hantash, 44, of Hughson, charging him with health care fraud, according to the United States Attorney General’s Office. Dr. Hantash is a dermatologist and the medical director of Advanced Skin Institute in Turlock.

In September 2019, a federal judge signed an order approving a deferred prosecution agreement. On Sept. 27, the judge ordered the charges against Dr. Hantash be dropped because the doctor had complied with all the terms of the deferred prosecution agreement.

Among the terms in the agreement was the stipulation that Dr. Hantash had to stop billing insurance companies for procedures using a dermalinfusion device, unless the use of the device had prior approval from the insurance company.

From 2011 through April 2016, Hantash submitted claims to private insurance companies requesting payment for performing acne surgeries, according to the Department of Justice. Two insurers, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of California, paid ASI a total of approximately $220,000 during that time for claimed acne surgeries. As part of the agreement, those claims must be repaid to the insurers.