Kentucky cardiologist Anis Chalhoub sentenced to prison for health care fraud

Published: Oct. 31, 2018 at 2:24 PM EDT
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A cardiologist in southern Kentucky will spend years in federal prison after being convicted on fraud charges.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced Dr. Anis Chalhoub to 42 months in federal prison for health care fraud after a jury returned a guilty verdict in April.

Prosecutors say Chalhoub defrauded Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers by implanting medically unnecessary pacemakers in his patients. He would then bill health insurance programs for the procedures and follow-up care.

Chalhoub is accused of implanting more than 200 pacemakers in patients at St. Joseph London hospital. Patients testified the cardiologist pressured them into the invasive procedures.

“This doctor violated his oath to do no harm,” said Derrick L. Jackson, Special Agent in Charge at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General in Atlanta. “His reckless behavior has earned him jail time for surgically implanting pacemakers that patients did not need in order to fatten his pocket.”

Chalhoub must pay a $50,000 fine and repay Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers more than $250,000. the court has prohibited him from practicing cardiology for three years after his prison release.