Nita and Kirtish Patel from Rockaway, Morris County in New Jersey, who own a mobile diagnostic testing company received more than $4.3 million from Medicare and private insurance companies over the past several years by providing fake patients’ medical diagnostic testing reports, and used the money for personal expenses, including buying luxury vehicles and multiple houses.
The couple pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court November 17. New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman said that the couple owning and operating Biosound Medical Services Inc. and Heart Solutions of Parsippany provided diagnostic testing reports that were never interpreted by a licensed physician.
The fraudulent practice by the couple, both of them 53, had been going on since 2006. They were each charged with one count of healthcare fraud. According to the documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from 2006 through June 2014, Nita and Kirtish Patel owned and operated Biosound Medical Services Inc. and Heart Solutions, providing mobile diagnostic testing, including ultrasounds, echocardiograms and nerve conduction studies that were used to diagnose heart defects, blood clots, abdominal aortic aneurysms and other serious medical conditions.
Biosound technicians would travel to the office of a primary care physician in the New York and New Jersey area to conduct diagnostic testing. Biosound was responsible for sending the tests to a “reading physician”— an appropriate specialist who would interpret the results. After the reading physician prepared a report, Biosound was responsible for providing it to the referring physicians. Biosound was paid millions of dollars by Medicare and other payers for the diagnostic testing, the reading physician’s interpretation of the results and the reports.
Kirtish Patel admitted to fraudulently interpreting and writing diagnostic reports produced by Biosound despite having no medical license and knowing that the reports would be used by the referring physicians to make important patient treatment decisions.
Nita Patel admitted assisting her husband in forging physician signatures on the “fraudulently produced reports” to make them appear legitimate. Nita and Kirtish Patel also admitted falsely representing to Medicare that the neurological testing performed by Biosound was being supervised by a licensed neurologist.
According to the information, more than half of the diagnostic reports generated by Biosound between October 2008 and June 2014 were never actually reviewed or interpreted by a physician. The couple was paid more than $4,386,133.75 by Medicare and private insurance companies for the fraudulent reports, which they used for personal expenses, including multiple residences and luxury vehicles. The health care fraud charge to which Nita and Kirtish Patel pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for March 15, 2016.