Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services Pays $15.5 million Settlement in Healthcare Fraud Whistleblower Case

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This past February, Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services settled a lawsuit that alleged the company was guilty of violating the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, the federal False Claims Act, and the False Claims Acts of New York and New Jersey. Doshi was accused of paying referring doctors based on the number of patients referred and billing Medicare and Medicaid for diagnostic services. Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services, P.C. and Diagnostic Imaging Group, LLC are both privately held companies founded by Dr. Leena Doshi and her husband Nitin. The company owns and operates 38 radiological centers throughout New York and New Jersey, and at one time had clinics in Florida.

The settlement was reached with the US Department of Justice, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and the Medicaid Fraud Units of the Attorneys General of New Jersey and New York and included $15.5 million dollars in penalties and fines.

The lawsuit that was filed and sealed in January 2010 included allegations by a whistleblower, represented by the law firm of Seeger Weiss, that Doshi had been entering into service agreements with doctors that guaranteed referrals to the Doshi clinics for diagnostic testing. The fees paid to doctors under these service agreements were deemed kickbacks. This is not only illegal, but also considered by many unethical because it can affect a doctor’s ability to be objective and make the best decision for his or her patients.

Furthermore, since patients were referred to Doshi clinics under an illegal agreement, the Medicare and Medicaid payments received for treatment and services were obtained illegally. As part of the multi-million dollar settlement, Doshi is required to return to the government all money paid by Medicare and Medicaid.

When the whistleblower, in this case called a relator, notified authorities of the illegal activity, an investigation was launched by several federal groups, including the United States Attorneys Office for the District of New Jersey, the Office of Inspector General of the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the US Department of Justice. In addition to the settlement paid by Doshi, the whistleblower will be paid approximately $1 million for filing the report. This award is part of the provisions of the federal and state False Claims Acts, designed to encourage reporting of illegal activity.

The case was prosecuted and resolved by US Attorney for the District Court of New Jersey Paul Fishman, Assistant US Attorney Charles Graybow, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Arthur Di Dio in conjunction with Seeger Weiss LLP. Seeger Weiss is a leading law firm in whistleblower cases, and also handles a variety of individual, mass, and class action suits, many of which deal with pharmaceutical injury, securities and investment fraud, consumer protection, environmental and asbestos exposures, personal injury and medical malpractice, product defect, antitrust, and commercial disputes. The firm has office in New Jersey, New York, and Philadelphia.