A London cardiologist has been found guilty in federal court on charges of health care fraud.
Following a 12-day trial in U.S. District Court in London, a jury found Dr. Anis Chalhoub guilty of implanting approximately 234 pacemakers in patients at St. Joseph London hospital between 2007 and 2011 in an effort do defraud Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers.
“The evidence at trial showed that dozens of those patients’ pacemakers were medically unnecessary, under well-established national guidelines and Medicare coverage rules,” officials with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Kentucky stated in a press release announcing the verdict.
Officials noted that testimony at the trial revealed that Dt. Chalhoub pressed patients into getting the procedures by providing them with misleading information concerning their respective medical conditions.
“For instance, several patients recalled Dr. Chalhoub telling them they might die without a pacemaker,” officials noted explaining that Dr. Chalhoub diagnosed them with sinus node dysfunction.
In reality, sinus node dysfunction is not fatal.
“The jury also heard evidence that Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers suffered hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses from Dr. Chalhoub’s unnecessary procedures,” officials stated.
The indictment, returned in June 2016, was the result of a joint investigation by the FBI and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
Chalhoub faces up to 10 years in prison, up to $250,000 in fines, and up to three years of supervised release when he returns to court for formal sentencing on Aug. 14.