Indian American couple from New Jersey plead guilty to $4.3 million healthcare fraud

Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel
Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel

NEWARK, NJ (TIP): An Indian American husband and wife from New Jersey who owned a mobile diagnostic testing company admitted receiving more than $4.3 million from Medicare and private insurance companies for diagnostic testing and reports that were never interpreted by a licensed physician, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Nita K. Patel and Kirtish N. Patel, were arrested in June of 2014, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge William H. Walls in Newark federal court and both have been charged with one count of health care fraud each.

They duo owned Biomedical Sound Services as well as Heart Solutions in Parsippany and were mobile diagnostic companies.

According to an FBI press release, the companies provided mobile diagnostic testing, including ultrasounds, echocardiograms and nerve conduction studies that were used to diagnose heart defects, blood clots, abdominal aortic aneurysms and other serious medical conditions.

Biosound was responsible for sending the tests to a “reading physician”-an appropriate specialist who would interpret the results. After the reading physician prepared a report, Biosound was responsible for providing it to the referring physician.

Instead, Kirtish Patel interpreted them himself, and forged the signatures of physicians, authorities said.

Biosound was paid millions of dollars by Medicare and other payors for the diagnostic testing, the reading physician’s interpretation of the results and the reports.

Kirtish Patel admitted to, from October 2008 through June 2014, fraudulently interpreting and writing diagnostic reports produced by Biosound despite having no medical license and knowing that the reports would be used by the referring physicians to make important patient treatment decisions. Nita Patel admitted assisting her husband in forging physician signatures on the fraudulently produced reports to make them appear legitimate. Nita and Kirtish Patel also admitted falsely representing to Medicare that the neurological testing performed by Biosound was being supervised by a licensed neurologist.

More than half of the diagnostic reports generated by Biosound between October 2008 and June 2014 were never actually reviewed or interpreted by a physician.

Nita and Kirtish Patel were paid more than$4,386,133.75 by Medicare and private insurance companies for the fraudulent reports, which they used for personal expenses, including multiple residences and luxury vehicles.

The health care fraud charge to which Nita and Kirtish Patel pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentencing for both defendants is scheduled for March 15, 2016.