Cleveland doctors charged with health care fraud, illegally prescribing drugs

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Two Cleveland doctors have been arrested and charged with numerous federal crimes, including health care fraud and illegally prescribing drugs.

Dr. Ashis Rakhit and Dr. Jayati Rakhit practiced at several different clinics in Cleveland, Parma, and Stronsgville under the name Ohio Cardiology Associates, Inc.

According to a federal indictment, from 2011 forward, the couple began performing tests their patients did not need, then billing insurance and Medicare for the money they cost.

"They were performing medically unnecessary tests, including cardiac catherizations, nuclear stress tests, EKG," said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. "They were then fraudulently billing for those services to insurance companies, and doing what's called up-coding on the services, so getting a higher reimbursement for the services they performed."

In addition, the indictment alleges that the Rakhits would falsify information in patients' records, including adding symptoms in their official files, symptoms the pair did not have.

"These doctors took an oath to do no harm, and they've turned around, and they've violated the trust of their patients and the overrall community," Herdman said.

The Rakhits are also charged with prescribing medications to patients whose symptoms indicated they did not need the drugs, including Tramadol, Percocet, and Xanax.

"Anytime you've got an opioid or prescription painkiller that's in play that's prescribed unlawfully, you are putting somebody on the pathway to addiction. We have to be very vigilant in enforcing the laws that apply to prescribers," said Herdman.

If the Rakhits are convicted of the 26 charges they face, they could spend 20 years in federal prison.

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