Dallas anesthesiologist convicted of $10M healthcare fraud: 5 things to know

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An anesthesiologist in Dallas has been found guilty of submitting bogus payment claims and collecting $10 million in fraudulent payments from the government, according to The Dallas Morning News.

After a four-day trial in Dallas federal court and three hours of deliberation by the jury, Richard Ferdinand Toussaint Jr., MD, was convicted on seven counts of fraud Thursday.

Here are 5 things to know about Dr. Toussaint and the conviction, according to The Dallas Morning News.

1. Dr. Toussaint, 58, is the co-founder of Dallas-based Forest Park Medical Center, as well as Dallas-based Ascendant Anesthesia. He also previously practiced medicine at Doctors Hospital at White Rock Lake. Forest Park Medical Center last year paid the federal government $215,000 to settle allegations that it paid physicians kickbacks. Last month, the hospital filed for bankruptcy.

2. According to the report, between 2009 and 2010 Dr. Toussaint submitted false claims to Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas, United Healthcare, the Federal Employees Health Benefits program and others. He filed claims for being present during procedures when he was really out of state, at a different hospital, traveling in his private jet or "nowhere to be found." He even submitted a claim for a procedure in which he was the patient.

3. In one case, a nurse anesthetist couldn't reach Dr. Toussaint because he was "asleep in bed," and as a result she was "forced to do a difficult and dangerous central line through the central artery in a patient's neck without needed assistance."

4. He also overstated the amount of time it took to perform procedures and signed patients' medical records before procedures occurred and instructed others to do the same.

5. Dr. Toussaint now faces up to 10 years in federal prison and a maximum fine of $250,000 for each of the seven counts. He is also required to pay restitution and forfeit any property he bought with the proceeds of the fraud. The court has not set a sentencing date as of yet.

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