Former Pennsylvania Hospital cardiologist agrees to $127k settlement over stent fraud allegations

Vidya Banka, MD, a former Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Hospital cardiologist and director of the hospital's cardiac catheterization lab, entered into a nearly $127,000 settlement with the federal government to resolve allegations he improperly submitted Medicare claims for medically unnecessary cardiac procedures, according to a March 19 announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice.

Philadelphia-based Penn Medicine, which owns Pennsylvania Hospital, revealed Dr. Banka's actions through a voluntary self-disclosure. Penn Medicine entered into a separate settlement with federal officials last January.

According to the DOJ, Dr. Banka maintained privileges at the hospital until September 2012, when he ended his employment. Between May 5, 2010, and Sept. 7, 2012, Dr. Banka reportedly performed an unspecified number of medically unnecessary cardiac stent procedures and proceeded to bill Medicare for those operations.

As part of his settlement, Dr. Banka agreed to pay a civil penalty of $126,617 and agreed to a five-year exclusion from Medicare, Medicaid and all other federal healthcare programs. He did not admit liability under the agreement.

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