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Two Kentucky cardiologists to pay $380,000 for fraud

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Washington, Oct 22 (IANS) Two Indian-American cardiologists have agreed to pay $380,000 to resolve allegations of a sham deal with a hospital in exchange for the referral of healthcare services, according to a media report.

London, Kentucky-based Satyabrata Chatterjee and Ashwini Anand, who jointly owned Cumberland Clinic were charged with violating the False Claims Act with their sham management agreements with Saint Joseph Hospital, reported.

The prosecution alleged that the hospital entered into sham agreements with Chatterjee and Anand, under which the physicians were paid to provide management services but did not in fact do so.

“Financial relationships between healthcare providers that put profits over patients are a threat to the programmes upon which millions of Americans depend,” US attorney Kerry Harvey for the Eastern District of Kentucky was quoted as saying.

In addition to payment of the settlement amount, which was based on their financial ability to pay, Chatterjee and Anand have agreed to enter into integrity agreements with the Department of Health and Human Services.

These obligate them to undertake substantial internal compliance reforms and to commit to a third-party review of their claims to federal health care programmes for the next three years.

The government previously entered into a $16.5 million settlement with Saint Joseph Hospital for the allegedly sham management contracts the hospital executed with Chatterjee and Anand.

The three whistleblowers, doctors Michael Jones, Paula Hollingsworth and Michael Rukavina, will collectively receive $68,400, the report said.

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