Nov 24, 2009 3:04 PM by sleonard
LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) - The federal government has intervened in a civil lawsuit against a Lafayette cardiologist convicted of charges he performed medically unnecessary heart procedures.
Dr. Mehmood Patel was sentenced in June to 10 years in prison for his conviction on 51 counts of health care fraud. He is appealing his conviction.
Patel also is a defendant in a so-called "whistleblower" lawsuit that one of his colleagues, Dr. Christopher Mallavarapu, filed under provisions of the False Claims Act. The act allows the
government to recover three times the amount of its losses plus civil penalties.
The suit accuses Patel of billing Medicare for catheterizations and other procedures that weren't necessary.
(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)