LONDON, Ky. (WKYT/WYMT) - A one-time heart doctor is now facing time in a federal prison after pleading guilty to exaggerating patients conditions to get payments for additional heart procedures.
Dr. Sandesh Patil, 51, admitted to making false statements regarding heart stents. This London cardiologist pled guilty on Tuesday in federal district court to those charges.
Fessing up to committing healthcare fraud, Dr. Patil is facing 30 to 37 months in federal prison.
"He had in a number of cases performed unnecessary stent procedures on patients," said Kerry Harvey, U.S. Attorney.
Dr. Patil, a cardiologist in at St. Joseph's Hospital in London, is accused of basically putting heart stents in patients who didn't need them. We are told a stent is medically necessary if the patient's coronary artery has at least 70 percent blockage. Several of Dr. Patil's patients were reportedly much lower than that.
"He would create phony medical records indicating that the artery was blocked at a much higher level, over 70 percent and then use those medical records to defraud the federal government," said Harvey.
For instance, Medicare and Medicaid will reimburse physicians for procedures that are deemed necessary. Dr. Patil has been accused of and admits to performing unnecessary surgeries just to get federal money.
"We have to be able to trust that our physicians are making decisions based on only the best interest of the patient's health and not payment," said Harvey. "And Dr. Patil violated that very basic trust."
St. Joseph's Hospital has reimbursed over 250,000 dollars to Medicare and Medicaid for procedures that were performed by Dr. Patil.
"First case of its kind in Kentucky," said Harvey. "I think it's only the third case of this kind in the nation."
Dr. Patil is scheduled to be sentenced on August 27. St. Joseph's Hospital self-reported these unnecessary medical procedures performed by Dr. Patil.