Indian-American sued by US govt for Medicare fraud

Washington: An Indian-American owner of a diagnostic firm has been sued by the US government on charges of knowingly submitting false claims to a state-run insurance company for thousands of testing services he did not render.

Vijay Patel, 59, of New Jersey who owns and operates a Mobile Diagnostic Testing, pleaded guilty in 2014 to a criminal information charging him with health care fraud related to this conduct.

The civil complaint filed yesterday alleged Patel violated the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice said.

According to court documents, from August 2011 through December 2012, Patel and the cardiologist defrauded Medicare — national social insurance program, administered by the US federal government — by submitting claims for diagnostic testing services that the doctor had performed from December 2010 to September 2012.

This enabled him to evade Medicare’s prepayment review.

Patel submitted the cardiologist’s claims through his company and his brother’s company Biosound Medical Services Inc. (Biosound), as if Mobile Diagnostic and Biosound had performed the services instead of the doctor.

Once Patel received the Medicare reimbursement money paid to the two companies for diagnostic testing services the cardiologist had performed, Patel transferred a portion of the payment to the doctor and kept a substantial portion for himself, federal prosecutors alleged.