Edmonton doctor charged in alleged $4M overbilling fraud scheme

·2 min read
Dr. Yifei Shi received her medical degree from the University of Alberta in 2013, according to the Canadian Association of Medical Aesthetics. (Canadian Association of Medical Aesthetics - image credit)
Dr. Yifei Shi received her medical degree from the University of Alberta in 2013, according to the Canadian Association of Medical Aesthetics. (Canadian Association of Medical Aesthetics - image credit)

Update: In an emailed statement on May 11, the Canadian Association of Medical Aesthetics (CAMA) said Dr. Yifei Shi has been removed from the faculty of the association.

While unable to comment on the matter as it is before the courts, the group said it has a "zero-tolerance policy regarding any prohibited overlap" between essential medical services and non-surgical cosmetic services.

CAMA had no involvement with the investigation, the statement said.

An Edmonton physician is charged with over-billing the Alberta government between $3.5 million and $4.1 million in an alleged fraud scheme dating back to 2013.

Dr. Yifei Shi, 33, was arrested April 23, the Edmonton Police Service said in a news release Friday.

She has been charged with one global count each of fraud over $5,000 and theft over $5,000.

The fraudulent billing scheme dated back to 2013 and was ongoing, police said.

Alberta Justice asked the EPS economic crimes section in April to help the Service Alberta Health Investigations Unit with the arrest, police said.

Shi is listed as a family medicine practitioner on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta (CPSA) website. The website says she is inactive and not accepting new patients.

The CPSA website says the doctor has not faced any disciplinary actions in the past. It says she completed her undergraduate training in 2010 and joined the college's general register in July 2013.

A profile of Shi on the Canadian Association of Medical Aesthetics website says Shi "has pursued a special interest in cosmetic medicine and cosmetic injectables" since receiving her medical degree from the University of Alberta in 2013

The profile says she attends "various courses" and learns from her peers.

"She understands that each cosmetic treatment is best custom tailored to the patient and finds designing a specific cosmetic treatment for her patients very exciting," it says.

"In her spare time, she loves exploring the world with her young family."

Shi, who practiced family and cosmetic medicine out of a west Edmonton clinic, faces charges in an alleged multi-million dollar billing fraud.
Shi, who practiced family and cosmetic medicine out of a west Edmonton clinic, faces charges in an alleged multi-million dollar billing fraud. (Craig Ryan/CBC)

Alberta Health won't comment on Shi's case because it is before the courts, spokesperson Zoe Cooper said in a statement Friday.

"Alberta Health routinely conducts reviews and audits to ensure physician billings are correct," Cooper said.

"These compliance reviews can be prompted by many factors, including complaints from Albertans, risk assessments, and data analytics."

Cooper said Alberta Health tries to recover money in cases of improper billing, overpayment or fraud.

When illegal or criminal activities are suspected, Alberta Health works with Service Alberta's Health Investigations Unit and informs the CPSA, she said.