FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) — A Fayetteville cardiologist will pay more than $5 million to settle a case about alleged false Medicare and Medicaid claims, the U.S. Department of Justice said Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Hari Saini and his practice, Carolina Heart and Leg Center, agreed to the sum as part of a civil fraud settlement.
“This civil fraud settlement demonstrates our steadfast commitment to protect taxpayer money and guard the integrity of our vital health care programs,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “Medical doctors should never bill for unnecessary procedures. Those who do will be held accountable. Our office will zealously pursue damages and civil penalties against medical professionals where warranted.”
This settlement stemmed from whistleblower allegations that Saini and his cardiology practice performed unnecessary atherectomy procedures to remove minor plaque blockage in leg arteries in patients.
A federal complaint alleging that Saini and his office “systematically overstated the stenosis percentage” to justify medically unnecessary atherectomies for the maximum number of procedures for their patients.