Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Indian cardiologist in the US received more than $100 000 in referral kickbacks

An Indian cardiologist in New Jersey,USA was arrested for having embezzled over Rs. 58 lakhs in kickback over a period of two years for referring patients for MRI and CT scan to a particular centre. He received US$ 100 for MRI and US$ 50 for CT scan. He is likely to face imprisonment and fine as per US laws.
In India, the medical profession is losing its reputation because the general population at large feels that such corrupt practices are also prevalent in Indian medical profession. I personally feel that the State Medical Councils should start taking actions against such people.
A US cardiologist has pleaded guilty to referring patients for diagnostic tests in exchange for money.
From 2009 to 2011, Dr Shashi Agarwal, 60, solicited and received more than $100 000 in kickbacks for referring patients for MRI and CT scans.
He is the 10th person to plead guilty to receiving financial kickbacks for referring patients to Orange Community MRI.
The former executive director of Orange Community MRI, Chirag Patel, 37, admitted paying bribes to physicians since 2008.
Former owner and medical director, Dr Ashok Kumar Barbaria, pleaded guilty to the same charges.
Agarwal, who was in private practice, was paid for each patient he referred for an MRI or CT scan.
He agreed to refer as many as 20 patients a month and he was paid $100 cash for an MRI and $50 for each CT-scan referral.
He is scheduled to be sentenced on June 6, 2013 and could face up to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250 000. He has agreed to forfeit the $101 750 in bribe money.
Comment: An Indian Doctor has been paying off another Indian Doctor to refer patients for medical tests! This is so prevalent in India, that many private practitioners would not even bat an eyelid if offered a commission for referring a patient. At least this practice will hopefully not rear its ugly head in the US. In India, I do not foresee anything similar happening in the near future though. 

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