Ohio Cardiologist Indicted for Healthcare Fraud, Criminal Act
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, September 03, 2014 12:00 AM

Unnecessary stents, unneeded catheterizations, unnecessary imaging tests, and referrals for CABG that were not medically warranted—those are among the charges against an Ohio cardiologist, whose 16-count indictment was unsealed in federal court last week. The unnecessary medical tests and procedures cost Medicare and other insurers at least $7.2 million, according to federal enforcement agencies.

The cardiologist was indicted on one count of healthcare fraud, 14 counts of making false statements, and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from criminal activity, the US Department of Justice (DoJ) revealed.  

"The charges in this case are deeply troubling," US Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio Steven M Dettelbach commented. "Inflating Medicare billings alone would be bad enough. Falsifying cardiac-care records, making an unnecessary referral for open heart surgery, and performing needless and sometimes invasive heart tests and procedures is inconsistent with not only federal law but a doctor's basic duty to his patients."

Other fraudulent activities included:

  • Performing unnecessary nuclear imaging, aortograms, renal angiograms, intravascular ultrasound, and other tests that were not medically warranted.

  • Recording false nuclear stress test results to justify cardiac catheterizations.

  • Performing cardiac catheterizations and falsely recording occlusions or severity of disease.

  • Falsely recording symptoms to justify tests and procedures.

  • Inserting stents in asymptomatic patients who did not have evidence of 70% stenosis.

  • Referral of patients to CABG when there was no medical necessity for surgery, enabling him to bill for follow-up testing.

Source:  http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/830375?nlid=63963_2981&src=wnl_edit_dail