Friday, May 11, 2007

Doctors' MRI deals a 'sham,' state says | Chicago Tribune

Doctors' MRI deals a 'sham,' state says | Chicago Tribune: "Chicago-area doctors were told they could earn more than $130,000 a year just for referring patients to some MRI centers, according to new documents filed in probe by the Illinois attorney general's office into radiology business practices.

A civil complaint filed by the attorney general's office was amended recently to include additional details about how some MRI centers allegedly marketed and trained sales people to entice physicians into what the state characterizes as phony lease deals. The state alleges the kickback scheme resulted in health insurers being billed for millions of dollars in fraudulent claims, although the operators of the MRI centers says the lease deals are perfectly legal.

Though MRIs were performed at radiology centers, the lease deals made it appear as though the doctors were in charge of the equipment and billed the services as their own, according to the suit. The attorney general's office alleges that the centers concocted 'sham 'lease' agreements' to benefit doctors, who, in return, boosted referrals to the centers, sometimes for unnecessary tests."

This is one of the reasons why patients find it so hard to trust their doctors these days !

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