Elderly loved ones are one of the most vulnerable populations at risk for experiencing abuse and neglect. Sometimes, this neglect is not the fault of a nursing home or a caretaker. Sometimes this is the fault of an outside entity and they must pay the price for their actions.
The owner of a mobile diagnostic imaging company received a sentence of ten years in prison in a case of health care fraud. The fraud led to the deaths of two nursing home patients.
The owner of Alpha Diagnostics, based in Baltimore, Rafael Chikvashvili, was convicted by a federal jury back in February. The 69-year-old was convicted of two counts of health care fraud resulting in the death of a patient. He was also convicted of wire fraud, false statements, and aggravated identity theft.
On direction from Chikvashvili, unqualified employees were ordered to interpret X-rays, ultrasounds, and cardiologic examinations. They were then ordered to create false physician reports regarding these examinations. These reports were then submitted to Medicare and Medicaid for reimbursement.
The misinterpretation of one chest X-ray resulted in one nursing home patient’s congestive heart failure to go unnoticed. As a result, the patient to be admitted to the hospital, where she died four days after the examination. Witnesses say that had the images been interpreted by a qualified individual, the heart failure would have been spotted and treated.
In another instance, the misinterpretation of the imaging led to another patient’s mild congestive heart failure going unnoticed as well. This patient died of complications during surgery which included severe blood loss. The surgery was an elective surgery.
Chikvashvili forged a physician’s signature on the reports for the two patients. He then submitted the reports for reimbursement, receiving a total of $222.23 for the claims. These reports were among many filed in Maryland, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and the District of Columbia between 1997 and 2003. The total amount of fraud is more than $7 million.
Chikvashvili was ordered to pay restitution and after being released, will have to undergo an additional two years of supervised release.
If you or a loved one has been the victim or nursing home abuse or neglect, you may be entitled to compensation. Contact the law offices of Schenk Smith today. Our attorneys may be able to help you get the compensation you deserve. Contact us today.