On Wednesday, December 13, 2017, it was announced that a cardiologist from Elko, Nevada had been arrested on 39-charges of unlawful distribution of prescription opioids and Medicare and Medicaid fraud. 58-year-old Devendra I. Patel aka Devendrakumar I. Patel had been charged with 36 counts of distribution of controlled substances and three counts of health care fraud.
Patel worked as a cardiologist at his medical practice, Northeastern Nevada Cardiology. The 39-count count indictment, which was unsealed today, alleged that from May 2014 and September 2017, Patel frequently prescribed hydrocodone, fentanyl and oxycodone for his patients without a legitimate medical purpose. Then, he is accused of fraudulently billing Medicaid and Medicare for medical tests that were never performed.
The indictment claims that Patel performed EKGs on his patients, so he could order nuclear stress tests, which were never administered. The defendant is accused of using a poorly calibrated machine and presenting his patients with fraudulent X-Rays to convince his patients that they were suffering from coronary issues that needed treatment. At this point in time, the defendant remains innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Further details about the case can be found here.