Feds Join Suit Against Doctor Accused of Medicare Fraud


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Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Feds join civil suit against Lafayette doctor

The Associated Press

LAFAYETTE, La. —  The federal government has intervened in a civil lawsuit against a Lafayette cardiologist convicted of charges he performed medically unnecessary heart procedures, U.S. Attorney Donald Washington announced Tuesday.

Dr. Mehmood Patel was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison for his convictions on 51 counts of health care fraud. He is appealing his convictions.

Patel also is a defendant in a so-called “whistleblower” lawsuit that one of his colleagues, Dr. Christopher Mallavarapu, filed under provisions of the False Claims Act. Acadiana Cardiovascular Clinic, which Patel owned and operated, also is named as a defendant in the suit.

Mallavarapu would be eligible to recover a portion of any damages generated by the suit. The act also allows the government to recover three times the amount of its alleged losses plus civil penalties.

The penalties would range from $5,500 to $11,000 for each false claim that Patel allegedly billed Medicare for catheterizations and other procedures that weren’t necessary, Washington’s office said.

Besides his prison term, Patel was ordered to pay $387,511 in restitution and $175,000 in fines.

SOURCE The Associated Press/Worcester Telegram

Read the full article here.



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