Convicted cardiologist, two other parties to shell out $650K

In a case that dates back almost a decade, an interventional cardiologist in Louisiana who was convicted of fraud and two other entities have agreed to pay a $650,000 settlement.

Mehmood Patel, MD, was found guilty in a juried trial on 51 counts of healthcare fraud, based on charges that he performed unnecessary medical procedures on Medicare beneficiaries and billed Medicare for the services. His sentence, issued in 2009, included a 10-year prison term and five years of supervised release plus $387,511 in restitution and a $175,000 fine. 

The whistleblower case originated with a filing by cardiologist Christopher Mallavarapu, MD, who had practiced with Patel in Lafayette. It also named Acadiana Cardiology LLC and Acadiana Cardiovascular Center. The lawsuit claimed that the defendants submitted 207 false claims between 2000 and 2003 for unnecessary procedures performed by Patel at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Lafayette General Medical Center, Acadiana Cardiology and Acadiana Cardiovascular Center.

Earlier reports claimed that Patel, who was indicted in 2006, allegedly billed Medicare and private insurance companies more than $3 million for unnecessary cardiovascular, endovascular and related procedures and received about $550,000.

Our Lady of Lourdes agreed to a $3.8 million settlement in 2006 and Lafayette General Medical Center agreed to pay a $1.9 million in 2008 to settle their claims.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of Western Louisiana, Patel, Acadiana Cardiology and Acadiana Cardiovascular Center will pay a $650,000 to resolve the case. The attorney’s office added that the claims are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.