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Two Vegas doctors face civil racketeering lawsuit

A civil racketeering lawsuit claims two Las Vegas doctors have conspired to defraud insurance companies by inflating medical bills for hundreds of patients involved in automobile accidents.

The federal lawsuit was filed Sept. 17 against Dr. Russell Shah, Dr. Dipti Shah and University Urgent Care. According to the complaint, the Shahs have owned and operated the clinic, located at 2628 W. Charleston Blvd., since it opened in about 2007.

A message left for the Shahs at their clinic Tuesday afternoon was not immediately returned.

The lawsuit accuses the Shahs of presenting "grossly exaggerated bills for treatment that was medically unnecessary" for 215 claimants.

According to the document, the treatment "was based upon a standardized pattern developed by Dr. Dipti Shah and Dr. Russell Shah with the express purpose of creating inflated medical bills that would be used to leverage artificially enhanced settlement values to be paid by insurance companies rather than providing patient-centered treatment with the goal of actually healing injuries."

The lawsuit was filed by Las Vegas attorney Eron Cannon on behalf of Allstate Insurance Co., Allstate Property & Casualty Insurance Co., Allstate Indemnity Co. and Allstate Fire & Casualty Insurance Co.

According to the complaint, the plaintiffs believe various physicians, attorneys and entities in Las Vegas and Henderson have conspired with the defendants to defraud the insurance companies.

Between 2007 and 2014, the lawsuit alleges, the defendants "prepared and/or caused to be presented" to the plaintiffs medical reports and billing records that falsely reported symptoms, complaints and injuries for each of the 215 claimants identified in the case.

The lawsuit claims the defendants "did not vary treatment according to each claimant's needs or actual physical condition, but rather the treatment was based upon a recipe that was inconsistent with the patient's probable clinical needs.

"Moreover, even the grossly exaggerated diagnoses of these patients still did not support the need for the ultimate delivery of multiple tests and procedures prior to any attempt to provide conservative treatment such as physical therapy."

This pattern "is found throughout the records of the various claimants," according to the lawsuit, which claims the plaintiffs "first became aware of the injury caused by defendants' wrongful conduct in 2014."

Allstate spokeswoman Chelci Hudson said the plaintiffs plan to seek more than $1.7 million in damages.

"Allstate's goal is ultimately to keep costs down for Nevada consumers and to prevent fraud," she said.

Contact reporter Carri Geer Thevenot at cgeer@reviewjournal.com or 702-384-8710. Follow her on Twitter: @CarriGeer

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