A New Jersey federal judge entered a $7.75 million civil judgment last month against a convicted Garden State couple and their diagnostic imaging companies for knowingly submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare for thousands of falsified reports and tests. Judge Stanley R. Chesler also found Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel liable for knowingly submitting false claims for neurological tests conducted without physician supervision. The Patels, who owned Morris County-based Biosound Medical Services Inc. and Heart Solution PC from 2006 to 2014, must pay the U.S. $5 million in damages and $2.75 million in civil monetary penalties, plus interest.
The government’s civil complaint alleged that the Patels created fraudulent diagnostic test reports, forged physician signatures on these reports, and then billed Medicare for the fraudulent reports and the underlying tests that were used solely to create these reports. The Patels also billed Medicare for neurological tests that they conducted without the required physician supervision.
The U.S. Attorney’s Health Care and Government Fraud Unit has recovered more than $1.3 billion in health care fraud and government fraud settlements, judgments, fines, restitution and forfeiture under the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, the False Claims Act and other laws. The unit was established in 2010 to handle both criminal and civil investigations and prosecutions of health care fraud offenses, according to U.S. attorney for New Jersey Paul J. Fishman.
The whistleblower in this case is a former employee of Biosound and will receive 15 percent to 25 percent of the judgment recovered by the government. The investigation was aided by the FBI and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The government is represented in this case by Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Graybow.
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