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Orlando cardiologist pays $6.75 million to resolve allegations of performing unnecessary medical procedures

Press releases may be edited for formatting or style | September 16, 2021 Cardiology

“The Office of Personnel Management’s Office of the Inspector General (OPM-OIG) is dedicated to investigating providers that prioritize profits over patient well-being,” said Deputy Inspector General Performing the Duties of the Inspector General Norbert E. Vint for the OPM-OIG. “We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners and colleagues at the Department of Justice to safeguard the federal health care programs from fraud.”

To help ensure the alleged abuses outlined in this case do not reoccur, Dr. Pal and Interventional Cardiology & Vascular Consultants, PLC entered a detailed, multi-year integrity agreement with HHS-OIG. This integrity agreement contains training and reporting requirements as well as a quarterly claims review conducted by an Independent Review Organization, with the requirement that the review team includes at least one interventional cardiologist who is board certified. It also contains provisions for stipulated penalties and, possibly, the exclusion from federal health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid in the event of a breach of its terms.

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The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, with assistance from the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, the FBI, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Office of Inspector General and the Office of Personnel Management Office of Inspector General.

The government’s pursuit of this matter illustrates its emphasis on combating health care fraud. One of the most powerful tools in this effort is the False Claims Act. Tips and complaints from all sources about potential fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement can be reported to the Department of Health and Human Services, at 800‑HHS‑TIPS (800-447-8477).

This matter was handled by Nicholas C. Perros of the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, Fraud Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael R. Kenneth of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.

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