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NJ Radiologist Admits $2 Million Kickback Plot

October 1, 2012
Written by: , Filed in: Medical Ethics, Practice Management
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New Jersey radiologist Ashokkumar Babaria, MD, did quite well in Medicare and Medicaid billings over the past few years. Federal prosecutors say that’s because he paid cash kickbacks to doctors for patient referrals. Last week, the radiologist admitted it.

Dr. Babaria, of Moorestown, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Thursday, according to the office of Paul Fishman, U.S. attorney for the New Jersey District. Dr. Babaria, former medical director and owner of Orange Community MRI in Orange, New Jersey, admitted making more than $2 million from Medicare and Medicaid because of the kickbacks.

He could face up to five years in prison and a fine of either $250,000 or twice what he gained from the offense. He’s scheduled for sentencing January 30, 2013.

According to a news release from Fishman’s office:

Babaria negotiated, approved, and paid kickbacks to physicians for each diagnostic test referred and provided cash to his subordinates to pay those doctors kickbacks for their referrals.

Four doctors and a nurse practitioner have pleaded guilty to corruptly referring patients and have agreed to forfeit a total of nearly $150,000 they received in kickbacks. Nine other doctors and Orange MRI’s former executive director have been charged or indicted. Five sentencings and two trials are scheduled for later this year, all before U.S. District Judge Claire C. Cecchi

Prosecutors said the kickback scheme operated from 2008 through 2011. Dr. Babaria admitted to personally paying a physician a $75 kickback for each MRI referral over two years. He said he approved paying another doctor about $100 in kickbacks for each MRI referral in return for as many as 20 referrals a month. And Dr. Babaria said he paid a third doctor $75 in kickbacks for each MRI referral and $25 for each ultrasound or bone-density scan.

Prosecutors said that last year, the third doctor, citing a high volume of referrals to Orange MRI, renegotiated the deal, upping the illegal payments to $100 per MRI and adding $50 per CT scan.

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Four radiologists sue a radiology department chair in Texas, accusing him of trying to get rid of foreign-trained physicians. For details, see our Facebook page.

Related seminar: The Business of Radiology


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One Response to “NJ Radiologist Admits $2 Million Kickback Plot”

  1. Radiology Daily»AlertArchive » Radiology Kickbacks Case Yields Prison Terms on February 19th, 2013 at 10:51 am

    […] keep following this case; seeĀ here and hereĀ for earlier reports. This is the current scorecard for others accused of accepting […]