London, Kentucky-based cardiologists Dr Satyabrata Chatterjee and Dr Ashwini Anand have agreed to pay $380,000 to resolve allegations that they entered into
sham management agreements with a local hospital in exchange
for the referral of cardiology procedures and other health-care
services to the hospital.
The Justice Department announced that Dr Chatterjee and Dr
Anand — who jointly owned Cumberland Clinic, a physician
group providing cardiology services — violated the False Claims
Act by allegedly entering into a referrals agreement with the
Saint Joseph Hospital.
The government alleged that under the sham agreements with
Dr Chatterjee and Dr Anand, the physicians were paid to provide
management services but did not in fact do so.
The government also alleged that in exchange for the sham
agreements, Dr Chatterjee and Dr Anand agreed to enter into an
exclusive agreement with the hospital to refer Cumberland Clinic
patients to the hospital for cardiology and other services in violation of the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.
The Stark Law forbids a hospital from billing Medicare for certain services referred by physicians who have a financial relationship with the entity.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting
or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services
covered by federal health care programs, including Medicare.
In addition to payment of the settlement amount, which was
based on Dr Chatterjee and Dr Anand’s financial ability, the two
agreed to enter into integrity agreements with the Department of
Health and Human Services-Office of Inspector General to
undertake substantial internal compliance reforms and to commit to a third-party review of their claims to federal health care
programs for the next three years.
The government previously entered into a $16.5 million settlement with Saint Joseph Hospital for the alleged sham management contracts, as well as for allegedly billing for unnecessary
and excessive cardiology procedures by other members of Dr
Chatterjee and Dr Anand’s cardiology practice.
The settlement stems from a complaint filed by three Kentucky
cardiologists pursuing the whistleblower provisions of the False
Claims Act, that permits private persons to bring a lawsuit on
behalf of the United States. The act permits the United States to
intervene in the lawsuit and take over the allegations, as the government did in this case.
The three whistleblowers, Drs Michael Jones, Paula
Hollingsworth and Michael Rukavina, will collectively receive
Since January 2009, the Justice Department has recovered a
total of more than $22.5 billion through False Claims Act cases,
with more than $14.3 billion of that amount recovered in cases
involving fraud against federal health-care programs.
The Administrative Office of the United States Courts has warned of a new scam to collect
personal information, in which scammers might call up or e-mail people
claiming that the people have been
selected for jury service.
The e-mail will ask the recipient to
fill up a form with Social Security and
driver’s license numbers, date of birth,
cell phone number, and mother’s
maiden name. The e-mail scam has
been reported in at least 14 federal
These calls and/or e-mails, which
threaten recipients with fines and jail
time if they do not comply, are not
connected with the US courts, the
Administrative Office said.
It also noted that federal courts do
not require anyone to provide any sensitive information in a telephone call
Most contact between a federal court
and a prospective juror will be through
the US mail, and any phone contact by
real court officials will not include
requests for Social Security numbers,
credit card numbers, or any other sensitive information.
People receiving such a call or e-mail should not provide the requested
information, and should notify the
Clerk of Court’s office of the US
District Court in their area.
The e-mail may also falsely claim
that it was affiliated with eJuror, an
online registration program used in
about 80 US court districts.
The eJuror program never requests
that personal identification information be sent directly in an e-mail
Requests by courts to complete a
qualification questionnaire would be
initiated by formal written correspondence.
Such letters tell jury participants
how to access an authenticated, secure
Anyone who has responded to such
a scam e-mail should take appropriate
steps to safeguard their personal and
In June, the court system warned
about scammers using the threat of
arrest — may be for money laundering or bank fraud, or missed jury
duty — unless one paid them off,
Network World reported. The fake
arrest warrants were reported across
The warrants may display the bogus
logo of an unspecified United States
District Court, a case number, and
charges. Recipients are instructed to
call a number to get a settlement or to
wire money to avoid arrest. A valid warrant is never served by fax or e-mail.
Beware of jury duty scam
veto by well-organized interest groups,’ he
said. ‘They can use their access to Congress
to basically stop anything that they do not
like. In a way India in many respects is sim-
ilar to that. There you have a very powerful
organized society, political system based on
Westminster model, and so it is little bit
more decisive than our Presidential one.’
‘I think that is what the problem of India
is. The past government was just too weak
and could not make decisions and too
many populist pressures were taken to do
too many ill-conceived, fiscally unsustain-
able policies. I suspect so many hopes are
being pinned on Prime Minister Modi by
people now, expecting that he will be able
to break through all of these routine blab-
ber that goes on in the Indian political sys-
tem, just as many Americans wish that they
had a Roosevelt, a Reagan or somebody
who would organize American society that
would be able to do things collectively we
would like to do.’
He noted that while from the beginning
the Chinese state has assumed power, rele-
gating every other actor in society to the
background, in India the roots of civil socie-
ty and institutions and organization had
been vocal and powerful from the beginning.
To a question from the audience on
whether Modi would be able to accelerate
the process on the basis of which the US
became a clean political government from a
patronage-based political system — as
Fukuyama said in the lecture — he said he
could not answer that question.
‘Because politicians have limited amount
of political capital and Modi has a big agen-
da in terms of structural reforms and to
promote economic growth,’ Fukuyama said.
‘The trouble with reform of the civil service
or reform of the state is that the pay-off
comes really late, and it is not really the one
that he would benefit from as a prime min-
ister. And that is why very few leaders actu-
ally want to do it.’
Kentucky cardiologists pay $380,000
to resolve malpractice allegations
Francis Fukuyama on India, US, China, and ‘vetocracy’