A Washington, D.C., cardiologist was hit with a $17 million judgment after being found guilty of submitting false claims for nuclear imaging tests to Medicare and state health programs.
Federal authorities accused Dr. Ishtiaq Malik of double-billing and submitting false claims for myocardial perfusion studies or "nuclear stress tests." Ordinarily performed in 2 stages, the tests are billed as 1 test for reimbursement purposes. Malik allegedly billed Medicare, District of Columbia Medicaid, Maryland Medicaid, TRICARE and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan for 2 tests for each set of tests.
The feds also accused Malik of using billing codes not applicable to nuclear stress tests, of billing for services already included in the nuclear stress test payments such as intravenous injections or 3D rendering, and of billing for services he didn’t deliver.
"This doctor fraudulently diverted critical resources from government health care programs, contributing to the rising cost of health care for all Americans," prosecutor Ronald Machen Jr. said in prepared remarks. "We will do everything in our power to obtain every cent of the $17 million this doctor now owes the American people."