Attorney General Ellison charges doctor with $1.6M in Medicaid fraud

Charged with 17 felony counts of theft by false representation

March 3, 2022 (SAINT PAUL) — Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison announced today that his office has charged Dr. Xiaoyan Hu with defrauding Minnesota’s Medical Assistance (Medicaid) program out of over $1.6 million through her business, Chinese Acupuncture and Herb Center (CAH). Hu is charged by criminal complaint in Hennepin County District Court with 17 felony counts of theft by false representation.   

“Minnesotans who receive Medical Assistance have a right to expect that they’ll receive all the care, dignity, and respect they’re entitled to. Minnesotans trying to afford their lives have a right to expect that every one of their tax dollars will be spent properly and legally. People who commit Medicaid fraud violate both of those rights. My office is working aggressively to hold them accountable and will keep doing so,” Attorney General Ellison said. 

From March 4, 2016 through June 25, 2020, the charging period in this case, CAH operated throughout the Twin Cities, including in Edina, Minneapolis, St. Paul, and Burnsville. Hu, a licensed acupuncturist, owned the clinics, provided acupuncture services to clients herself, and supervised other acupuncturists and employees she hired to operate the clinics. 

The Attorney General’s Office’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) conducted a two-year investigation into CAH’s business practices.  As alleged in the criminal complaint, Hu and CAH defrauded the Medicaid program by: 

CAH also billed for acupuncture services provided in a client’s home without the requisite prior authorization for a home visit, used acupuncture billing codes to bill for services that were not covered acupuncture services, and used the credentials of another acupuncturist to bill for services provided to clients with a particular insurance company after the company excluded CAH from its network. Hu also regularly signed, and directed others to sign, verifications for language interpreter services that did not happen. 

A criminal complaint is merely an allegation. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

This case was investigated and prosecuted by the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) in the Office of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison.  The Minnesota MFCU receives 75 percent of its funding from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services under a grant award totaling $3,543,180 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022.  The remaining 25 percent, totaling $1,181,059 for Federal fiscal year (FY) 2022, is funded by the State of Minnesota.