Louisiana cardiologist Mehmood Patel was sentenced to 10 years in a federal prison for placing stents in patients who didnt need them.
Patel, 64, was convicted on 51 counts of healthcare fraud after a jury trial in December 2008. According to the U.S. attorneys office in Lafayette, La., Patel falsified patient symptoms in medical records, falsified findings on medical tests, and performed unnecessary procedures at 217-bed Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center and 294-bed Lafayette General Medical Center, both in Lafayette, as well as at a mobile catheterization lab outside his practice. From 1999-2003 Patel was the top biller for cardiology services in the state of Louisiana, prosecutors said.
Patels prison sentence is the maximum allowed, and he also was ordered to pay $387,500 in restitution and a $175,000 fine.
The two hospitals previously entered settlements resolving False Claims Act allegations stemming from the fraudulent procedures and lawsuits brought by patients Patel treated.