A group of 14 Illinois radiology centers earlier this month settled a lawsuit alleging it paid illegal kickbacks to doctors in exchange for referrals. The settlement requires the 14 Open Advanced MRI centers, which are owned by McLean, Va.-based Midi, to pay a total of $1.2 million in damages, restitution and penalties, according to a news release from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigans office. The State of Illinois will receive $840,000 of the settlement, which it plans to use for grants to provide healthcare for low-income patients. The lawsuit, filed by Madigan in 2007, alleges the radiology centers entered into fraudulent agreements with doctors under which the doctors paid a reduced rate for MRI and CT scans, billed patients insurance a higher rate and pocketed the difference. This settlement sends a strong message that medical professionals cannot engage in schemes to line their pockets at the expense of the best patient care, Madigan says in a written statement. The attorney general also settled with five other imaging companies, according to the release. A spokeswoman could not immediately provide details on those settlements. The Illinois companies that also settled are: National Medical Imaging of Palos Heights; Rand Imaging Center, Arlington Heights; Central States Imaging, Lake in the Hills; Gurnee (Ill.) Radiology Center, which is also based in Libertyville; Bannockburn (Ill.) Radiology Center; Open MRI of Northern Illinois, Buffalo Grove; and Nydic Open MRI of America-Westchester.To submit a letter to the Modern Physician Reader Blog, click here. Please include your name, title, company and hometown. Modern Physician reserves the right to edit all submissions.
Ill. radiology centers settle doctor kickback charges
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