Ky. car­di­ol­o­gists set­tle false-claims charges

Modern Healthcare - - REGIONAL NEWS - —Lisa Schencker

Two Ken­tucky car­di­ol­o­gists have agreed to pay $380,000 to set­tle al­le­ga­tions that they vi­o­lated the False Claims Act by en­ter­ing into bo­gus man­age­ment agree­ments with an area hos­pi­tal in ex­change for re­fer­ring their pa­tients to that hos­pi­tal.

The gov­ern­ment al­leged that Drs. Satyabrata Chat­ter­jee and Ash­wini Anand, who owned car­di­ol­ogy physi­cian group Cum­ber­land Clinic, London, Ky., en­tered into sham man­age­ment agree­ments with St. Joseph Hos­pi­tal, also in London. The two were paid to pro­vide man­age­ment ser­vices but never ac­tu­ally pro­vided them, ac­cord­ing to the gov­ern­ment. In­stead, they al­legedly agreed to re­fer their clinic’s pa­tients to the hos­pi­tal for car­di­ol­ogy and other ser­vices, in vi­o­la­tion of the Stark law and the anti-kick­back statute.

The Stark law pro­hibits hos­pi­tals from billing Medi­care for cer­tain ser­vices re­ferred by doc­tors who have fi­nan­cial in­ter­ests in those hos­pi­tals, and the anti-kick­back statute for­bids pay­ing to get re­fer­rals for items or ser­vices cov­ered by fed­eral health­care pro­grams.

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