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Las Vegas surgery group settles with feds for $1.5M

A Las Vegas medical practice agreed to pay $1.5 million to the federal government to resolve five years of alleged false billing, the Department of Justice announced Friday.

Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons of Nevada Inc., whose principal physician is Dr. Bashir Chowdhry, agreed to the settlement resolving an allegation of liability under the civil False Claims Act, a news release stated.

The government had alleged that between January 2006 and May 31, 2011 the medical practice violated the False Claims Act by billing federal health care programs, including Medicare and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, for surgery that never occurred, along with billing for more expensive surgical and evaluation and management services the group actually provided.

“It is important to maintain the integrity of federal health care programs,” Nevada U.S. Attorney Dayle Elieson said in the release. “Medical providers who misuse these programs negatively impact patients and taxpayers.”

The medical practice did not immediately return a call seeking comment late Friday afternoon.

In addition to Elieson, Special Agent in Charge Christian J. Schrank for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG); Special Agent in Charge A.E. Pleasant for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General (VA-OIG), Criminal Investigations Division, Western Field Office; and Special Agent in Charge Aaron C. Rouse of the FBI’s Las Vegas Division made the announcement.

Contact David Ferrara at dferrara@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-1039. Follow @randompoker on Twitter.

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