Desai Indicted By Federal Grand Jury 4-27-2011 - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Desai Indicted By Federal Grand Jury 4-27-2011

The former Las Vegas gastroenterologist connected to southern Nevada’s hepatitis C outbreak in 2007 has been indicted by a federal grand jury.
Dipak Desai, who was sentenced last month to a state mental health hospital in northern Nevada, is facing charges of conspiracy, health care fraud and forfeiture. The chief operating officer of his clinic, the Endoscopy Center of Southern Nevada, Tonya Rushing, is also charged in the indictment.
The indictment stated that Desai conspired with Rushing to overstate the amount of time its certified registered nurse anesthesiologists were spending with patients.
LINK: Federal Grand Jury Indictment
In 2002, Desai and Rushing hired eight registered nurses to perform anesthesia on patients, paying them a salary, the indictment said. Because the nurses were paid a set wage, Desai stood to profit from any payments from insurance companies that were over their salaries, the indictment said.
The indictment said that Desai and Rushing instructed the nurse anesthesiologists to list at least 31 minutes of time with patients, even though the amount of time was less.
In general, insurance companies pay in 15 minute increments, rounding up if the time goes over.
The nurses were also instructed by Desai to schedule as many patients as possible in any given day, with nurses regularly performing anesthesia on 60 to 80 patients daily, the indictment said.
Desai would spend less than the average amount of time performing endoscopies and colonoscopies, the indictment said.
Desai and Rushing also created a billing company separate from the one managing the center's other physicians' medical accounts in order to defraud insurance companies, the indictment said. The other physicians did not know about the other billing company, which was established in Rushing's name, the indictment said.
Between 2006 and 2007, Rushing's billing company paid Desai $185,000 earned from billing for fraudulent anesthesia services, the indictment said.
Desai surrendered his medical license in February 2010.
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