Cardiologist Convicted of Fraud Loses Appeal

Reed Miller

December 04, 2012

LAFAYETTE, Louisiana — Dr Mehmood M Patel has agreed to finally begin a 10-year prison sentence after the US Court of Appeals, 5th Circuit upheld his 2009 conviction and rejected his request to reconsider, according to the Advocate [1].

As reported by heartwire , Patel, formerly of Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital and Lafayette General Hospital in Louisiana, was convicted on 51 counts of billing private and government health insurers for unnecessary coronary interventions and tests. During the trial in 2008, the prosecution presented evidence that Patel falsified patient symptoms in medical records and billed Medicare and private insurance companies more than $3 million over four years and kept over $500 000.

Patel has been free since 2009 while appealing the case but agreed to begin his sentence by December 17 after the court turned down his appeal, the Baton-Rouge based Advocate reports. He can, however, still appeal the case to the state's Supreme Court.

His lawyers tried to argue that criminal laws ought not to be applied to a doctor's judgment, and Patel was supported by the Lafayette chapter of the National Medical Association, an organization that advocates for physicians and patients of African descent.