Florida cardiologist pays $6.75M to settle allegations he falsified EHR notes for profit

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Ashish Pal, MD, an Orlando, Fla.-based cardiologist, paid $6.75 million to resolve allegations from the Justice Department that he violated the False Claims Act by performing medically unnecessary procedures for profit.

Dr. Pal leads Orlando-based Interventional Cardiology & Vascular Consultants, according to a Sept. 15 Justice Department news release.

Four things to know:

  1. The monetary settlement resolves accusations that Dr. Pal submitted false claims to the federal healthcare programs for unnecessary ablations and vein stent procedures from Jan. 1, 2013, to Dec. 31, 2019. 

  2. The allegations against Dr. Pal said he falsified EHR records by exaggerating or faking patient symptoms to justify the procedures.

  3. The vein ablations were allegedly performed exclusively or primarily by one or more ultrasound technicians, which is outside the scope of their practice.

  4. Dr. Pal and Orlando and Interventional Cardiology & Vascular Consultants entered a multiyear integrity agreement with HHS and the Office of Inspector General to ensure the alleged incidents do not reoccur. The agreement contains training and reporting requirements, quarterly claim reviews by an independent organization, possible exclusions from Medicare and Medicaid, and stipulated penalties.

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