The physician owner of a Nevada clinic linked to a deadly hepatitis C outbreak pleaded guilty in federal court April 2 to Medicare fraud.
Dr. Dipak Desai, who owned the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, admitted to healthcare fraud and conspiring with others to systematically overcharge Medicare, Medicaid and other private health insurers for anesthesia billing as part of a plea agreement. Desai's practice significantly exaggerated the amount of time certified registered nurse anesthetists spent with patients, court documents show.
As part of the agreement, Desai will have to pay restitution of $2.2 million and may serve whatever sentence is imposed concurrently with his sentence from a previous conviction.
A jury convicted Desai in state court in 2013 of second-degree murder, among dozens of other criminal counts, related to a hepatitis C outbreak. A state investigation found that unsafe injection practices related to the administration of anesthesia—such as re-using syringes and using single dose vials of anesthesia on multiple patients—might have exposed patients to other patients' blood. He is scheduled to be sentenced July 9 in Reno, Nev.