Cardiologists nailed for inappropriate procedures

A cardiologist in Ohio has been convicted for overbilling Medicare $7.2 million for unnecessary cardiac procedures including stents, catheterizations, nuclear stress tests, and recommending patients for cardiac bypass surgery that wasn't medically necessary, according to  the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Ohio. Meanwhile, a Kentucky cardiologist is awaiting trial after pleading not guilty to 27 counts of fraud and making false statements tied to unnecessary cardiac stents, according to The Independent.

Harold Persuad, M.D., of Westlake, Ohio was convicted on 13 counts of fraud in which he performed tests and procedures that were not medically necessary, including the insertion of cardiac stents for patients that did not have 70 percent or more blockage. In referring patients for coronary bypass surgery, prosecutors argued that Persaud ensured he could bill for additional follow-up testing.

Kentucky cardiologist Richard Paulus, M.D., is facing 27 charges for procedures he performed after selling his practice to King's Daughters Medical Center in July 2008. KDMC paid $40 million last year to settle claims that it billed for unnecessary cardiac procedures.  USDOA announcement. Independent article.