Medical Practice Management
Apr 25

New Jersey Cardiologists Guilty of Embezzlement of $840,000 from Hospital in Referral Scheme

From the American Health Lawyers Association (www.healthlawyers.org):

Two cardiologists pleaded guilty on February 28, 2008, to embezzlement of $840,000 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ). The cardiologists had been employed as part–time clinical professors at UMDNJ’s University Hospital with ostensible duties that included teaching medical students, providing on-call coverage, attending weekly conferences, and lecturing and supporting UMDNJ research projects. However, the doctors ultimately did nothing to earn their salaries other than refer patients to the hospital. University Hospital had hired the doctors in order to increase its cardio–surgery patient census, thereby assuring continuation of its "level 1 trauma center" status and the public revenue that the designation produced. Both doctors admitted doing nothing for UMDNJ other than referring cardiac patients while intentionally accepting their salaries. In addition to their criminal pleas, one of the doctors paid over half a million dollars to settle the government’s related civil prosecution; the government has yet to begin a civil prosecution of the other doctor. The prosecutions are an outgrowth of a U.S. Attorney’s Office investigation of fraud and abuse of UMDNJ.

United States Department of Justice U.S. Attorney, District of New Jersey News Release, February 28, 2008.

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