Physician Practice Roundup—Connecticut doctor pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering

Wooden gavel and gold legal scale that appear to have sunlight falling on them
A Connecticut doctor who fled to Canada to avoid charges has pleaded guilty. (Getty Images/William_Potter)

Connecticut doctor pleads guilty to fraud, money laundering

A Connecticut doctor, who was apprehended after he fled to Canada, pleaded guilty to charges of healthcare fraud and money laundering.

Ramil Mansourov, M.D., 49, who ran the Family Health Urgent Care medical practice in Norwalk, Connecticut, entered a guilty plea, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut. According to court documents and statements made in court, Mansourov billed Medicaid almost $5 million for home, office and nursing home visits that never occurred and transferred some of that money to a bank account in Switzerland. He then moved more than $1.3 million from the Swiss account to at least three of his own domestic bank accounts and used the money for personal and business purposes.

Sentencing is scheduled in December and Mansourov faces a maximum of 30 years in jail, a fine of up to $10 million and an order of restitution. A second doctor, Bharat Patel, who sold the practice to Mansourov, pleaded guilty in June to narcotics distribution and healthcare fraud. Patel admitted he wrote hundreds of medically unnecessary prescriptions for oxycodone and hydrocodone, the statement said. (U.S. Attorney’s Office announcement)

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Diabetes prevalent among U.S. adults, many undiagnosed

An estimated 4% of adults in the U.S. don’t know that they have diabetes, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One in seven U.S. adults has diabetes, according to the report. Between 2013 to 2016, 14% of U.S. adults had diabetes, with the prevalence of the disease higher among men than women. (CDC report)

Doctors should send obese patients to intensive weight-loss program

For patients with a body mass index over 30, doctors should offer or refer them to intensive, multicomponent behavioral interventions.

That’s the recommendation of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, published this week in JAMA. The independent panel of experts that advises primary care physicians said it found that intensive behavioral interventions or behavior-based weight loss maintenance interventions have a moderate benefit for overweight patients.

Meanwhile, a lengthy Huffington Post article called for a new paradigm for treating obesity in the medical community. (JAMA article | Huffington Post article)

Senators unveil measure to address surprise medical bills

A group of senators is unveiling a draft of new legislation they say would tackle the problem of surprise medical bills, a ubiquitous problem where patients are hit with massive unexpected charges.

The Hill reported the bipartisan measure would, among other things, prevent healthcare providers outside a patient's insurance network from charging additional costs for emergency services to patients beyond the amount usually allowed under their insurance plan. (Release | The Hill article)

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