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Louisiana hospital settles fraud allegations for $1.9 million

Lafayette General Medical Center will pay $1.9 million to settle allegations that it defrauded federal and state health plans by billing for unnecessary cardiology procedures, according to the January 11, 2008 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The False Claims act suit alleged that LGMC knew that a physician was performing medically unnecessary angioplasties, angiograms and stenting procedures yet deliberately failed to address the problem. The suit was brought under the qui tam provisions of the act by a cardiologist who approached federal authorities claiming that Dr. Mehmood M. Patel was routinely endangering the health and safety of patients by subjecting them to unnecessary and inappropriate medical procedures.

Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center reached a similar settlement with the Justice Department in 2006, agreeing to pay $3.8 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit related to Patel’s work.

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