In the city of Rockaway New Jersey a pair of husband and wife criminals have confessed to stealing more than $4,000,000 from both federal and private insurance companies over an 8-year period that ended in June, 2014.
Kirtish and Nita Patel, both age 53, changed their “not guilty” plea to “guilty” this week of Health Care Fraud, before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark Federal Court.
The Indian immigrant couple, who owned and operated a mobile diagnostic exam company, admitted to illegally billing Medicare as well as numerous other insurance providers a total of $4,300,000, for reports that were never interpreted by a doctor, according to U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman. They used the money for personal enrichment; bought several luxury homes and numerous expensive cars.
According to federal prosecutors, the following facts are undisputed:
From 2006 through June 2014, Nita and Kirtish Patel owned and operated Biosound Medical Services and Heart Solutions (referred to here as “Biosound”), of Parsippany, New Jersey. These were mobile diagnostic services approved by Medicare and other insurers to provide mobile diagnostic exams such as nerve conduction tests, ultrasounds, and echocardiograms, to determine aneurysms, heart defects, blood clots and other dangerous conditions.
Biosound techs would routinely drive to clinics in New York and New Jersey to conduct specific diagnostic testing. Biosound office staff was then legally required to forward the exams to appropriate specialists who would then interpret the findings. After the specialists prepared their reports, Biosound was responsible for providing them to the patients’ primary physicians. Biosound was in turn paid millions of dollars by Medicare and other payers to handle these extremely non-complex medical protocols.
In court Kirtish Patel admitted to fraudulently interpreting and writing diagnostic reports himself, with no medical license, knowing the reports would be used by the referring physicians to make critical patient treatment decisions. Nita Patel admitted assisting her husband in forging physician signatures on the falsified reports to make them appear legitimate. The Patels also admitted falsely representing to Medicare that their neurological tests performed were supervised by a licensed neurologist, when there was no such neurologist involved.
Kirtish and Nita Patel’s guilty pleas carry 10-year prison terms and a $250,000 fine upon sentencing next March.
We thank U.S. Attorney Fishman and FBI special agents, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Richard M. Frankel in Newark, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Scott J. Lampert, for successfully bringing this criminal couple to justice.
Here’s another look: