STAFFORD – Dr. Michael Bleiman of Southern Ocean Pediatrics and Family Medicine in Stafford Township has agreed to pay a $156,220 fine in a settlement with the State of New Jersey. In the agreement Bleiman will revise his office practices after he was charged with providing vaccines that had been stored improperly.
The doctor had patients that were vaccinated as part of the Vaccines for Children program, a federally funded program that provides vaccines at no cost to families in financial need.
An investigation revealed that the vaccines were not stored at the correct temperature. This vaccines were at risk of not being as effective as necessary. The temperatures were recorded incorrectly, to cover up the fact that they were not stored properly.
More than 900 Medicaid patients potentially received these compromised vaccines between the period of November 2014, through October 2016.
“The quality of care issues in this matter raised serious concerns about the welfare of Medicaid program participants,” State Comptroller Phillip James Degnan said in a news release. “This settlement holds Dr. Bleiman accountable for his actions while ensuring compliance going forward.”
Dr. Bleiman was suspended after an investigation from all Medicaid and NJ FamilyCare programs Jan. 27. As part of this settlement, the temporary suspension of his participation in the Medicaid program will end.
$110,000 of the total settlement is a civil penalty levied by the Medicaid Fraud Division. The rest is a reimbursement of overpayments that were paid to Bleiman and his practice.
Bleiman will be required to pay $100,000 on or before June 1, and the rest in consecutive monthly payments.
In the future, the temperatures and recording manner will continue to be under scrutiny.