Ohio physician convicted of performing unnecessary heart procedures

A Westlake, Ohio-based cardiologist, Harold Persaud, MD, has been convicted of performing unnecessary catheterizations, test and stent insertions and causing unnecessary coronary artery bypass surgeries as part of a scheme to overbill Medicare and private insurers by $7.2 million, according to the FBI.

Dr. Persaud, who had a private medical practice, performed nuclear stress tests on patients that were not medically necessary and recorded false results of patients' nuclear stress tests to justify cardiac catheterization procedures, according to court documents and testimony presented at trial.

Dr. Persaud also referred patients for coronary artery bypass surgery when there was no medical necessity for such surgery and performed medically unnecessary stent procedures, aortograms, renal angiograms and other procedures and tests.

As a result of the fraud scheme, which took place between Feb. 16, 2006, and June 28, 2012, Dr. Persaud overbilled and caused the overbilling of Medicare and private insurers in the amount of approximately $7.2 million, of which Medicare and private insurers paid about $1.5 million.

Dr. Persaud was convicted of one count of healthcare fraud, 13 counts of making false statements and one count of engaging in monetary transactions in property derived from criminal activity.

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