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Norman hospital authorities settle Medicare false claims allegations

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Two Indian Americans were among the accused.

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Two Indian American radiologists are among five others to settle a Medicare fraud federal lawsuit for more than $1.6 million, the Justice Department announced on April 11. The other accused involve their colleagues – Greg Terrell, an administrator of the Norman Regional Hospital; and four radiologists – Drs. Chadwick Webber, Merl Kardokus, Rick Wedel and Barbara Landaal.

Drs. Gautham Dehadrai and Sanjay Narotam, and their colleagues, were accused of submitting false claims to get Medicare reimbursement for diagnostic services performed by radiological practitioner assistants without physicians’ proper supervision, NewsOK reported.

“There are certain radiological diagnostic services that require ‘personal’ supervision,” the Oklahoma City US Attorney office said. “This means that a physician must be in the room supervising the RPA when the RPA performs the service. If a physician is not in the room, the service cannot be billed to Medicare.”

According to the report, the whistleblower’s lawsuit was filed in Oklahoma City’s federal court by Dr. Lance Garber, who worked as a radiologist at the same hospital. All seven accused have agreed to pay $1,618,750 to settle the case. Also, they would shell out another $31,398 for Dr. Garber’s attorney’s fees.

However, the Norman Regional System denied the allegations in a statement and said that the settlement agreement is not an admission of liability.

“We are entering into this settlement agreement to resolve the allegations so that our employees, physicians, and administration can focus on our mission to serve our community as the leader in health and wellness care,” NRHS CEO Richie Splitt told NewsOK.