X-Ray Company Owner Receives 10 Years in Prison For $8M Medicare and Medicaid Fraud Which Lead to the Death of Two Patients
Friday, July 15, 2016
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health LawOn June 15, 2016, A medical diagnostics company owner found guilty of Medicare and Medicaid fraud for billing $8 million for X-rays whose botched analysis by amateurs led to the death of two patients was sentenced in Maryland federal court to 10 years in prison, the U.S. Department of Justice said. The diagnostics company, Alpha Diagnostics, LLC (Alpha), operated in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington, D.C.Alpha’s president and chief executive officer (CEO) Rafael Chikvashvili, was convicted by a jury in February 2016 of two counts of health care fraud resulting in death, nine counts of health care fraud, eight counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy, 11 counts of false statements relating to health care matters and two counts of aggravated identity theft.I previously wrote a blog covering this case. Click here to read it.
A Mathematician, NOT a Physician. Chikvashvili, who is a mathematician and not a physician, provided X-rays, ultrasounds and other portable diagnostics in Alpha’s different locations. “The jury found that two patients died because their X-rays were not reviewed by a qualified radiologist. Health care fraud has consequences,” U.S. Attorney Rod Rosenstein said in statements in February and again on Wednesday.The Consequences of His Actions.According to prosecutors, Chikvashvili improperly ordered nonphysician employees to interpret X-rays, ultrasounds and cardiology exams, then submitted false claims to the government for reimbursement. Additionally, he ordered workers to make up physicians’ examination reports and improperly copied physicians’ signatures, sometimes even forging them himself, prosecutors said.Not only did he defraud the government out of thousands of dollars, two patients died as a result of his actions. “The evidence showed that Rafael Chikvashvili failed to provide medical services to patients who needed them, billed for services he did not provide. The jury found that two patients died because their X-rays were not reviewed by a qualified radiologist. Health care fraud has consequences, in money wasted and lives lost.” U.S. Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein said in a statement. The case is U.S. v. Chikvashvili, case number 1:14-cr-00423, in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland.At The Health Law Firm, we have experience with cases such as this. Click here to read a press release for a previous client we represented in which our attorneys succeeded in having the physician dismissed from a six million dollar suit. Contact Health Law Attorneys Experienced in Handling Medicare Audits, Investigations and other Legal Proceedings.The Health Law Firm’s attorneys routinely represent physicians, dentists, orthodontists, medical groups, clinics, pharmacies, assisted living facilities (AFLs), home health care agencies, nursing homes, group homes and other healthcare providers in Medicaid and Medicare investigations, audits and recovery actions.To contact The Health Law Firm please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.Source: Salvatore, Cara. “X-Ray Co. Owner Gets 10 Years For $8M Fraud, 2 Deaths.” Law360. (June 15, 2016). Web.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawfirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone; (407) 331-6620.KeyWords: Health care fraud defense lawyer, false claims act defense attorney, submitting false claims to the government, fraudulent reimbursements, health care fraud resulting in death, U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecutions for healthcare fraud, civil monetary penalties lawyer, Medicare audit defense attorney, Medicare appeal legal, Medicare claims appeals lawyer, Medicare defense attorney, federal administrative complaint defense lawyer, Food & Drug Administration (FDA) audit defense attorney, Medicare appeals lawyer, health care legal counsel, Medicaid audit defense attorney, Medicare investigation defense, health law attorney, Florida health law attorney, The Health Law Firm"The Health Law Firm" is a registered fictitious business name of George F. Indest III, P.A. - The Health Law Firm, a Florida professional service corporation, since 1999. Copyright © 2016 The Health Law Firm. All rights reserved.
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