In the city of Cleveland a federal court has found a heart specialist guilty of ordering unnecessary tests, performing scam procedures and illegally billing insurance payers more than $7,000,000.
Doctor Harold Persaud, a resident of Westlake, was convicted last Friday of Healthcare Fraud; 13 charges of lying under oath and another charge of Illegal Financial Transactions. During the trial US. government prosecutors were able to prove that Persaud, a cardiologist, would routinely bill Medicare as well as private insurance companies for far more expensive procedures than were actually done; that he falsified medical stress tests to justify unnecessary heart catheterizations; and worse, that he sent many patients for totally unneeded heart bypass surgeries they didn’t need. Here’s what the FBI had to say about this stethoscope scamster:
- Persaud performed nuclear stress tests on patients that were not medically necessary
- He knowingly recorded false results of patients’ nuclear stress tests to justify cardiac catheterization procedures that were not medically necessary
- Persaud performed cardiac catheterizations on patients at the hospitals and falsely recorded the existence and extent of lesions (blockage) observed during the procedures
- He recorded false symptoms in patient records to justify testing and procedures on patients
- Persaud inserted cardiac stents in patients who did not have 70 percent or more blockage in the vessel that he stented and who did not have symptoms of blockage
- He placed a stent in a stenosed artery that already had a functioning bypass, thus providing no medical benefit and increasing the risk of harm to the patient
- He improperly referred patients for coronary artery bypass surgery when there was no medical necessity for such surgery, which benefitted Persaud by increasing the amount of follow-up testing he could perform and bill to Medicare and private insurers
- Persaud performed medically unnecessary stent procedures, aortograms, renal angiograms and other procedures and tests
Investigators learned that Persaud, age 56, continued his personal wealth-building scams over a seven-year span that started in 2006.
Here’s another look at this lab coat lunatic: