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Feds: Radiologist Had Non-physicians Review Thousands of Patients' Imaging Tests

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 11, 2009

Federal officials have indicted an Atlanta radiologist on charges he never reviewed thousands of X-rays and other imaging tests for patients in the Southeast, but had his non-physicians review them instead.

Rajashakher P. Reddy, 39, president of Reddy Solutions, Inc. (RSI), allegedly "provided radiologist coverage—interpreting x-rays and other films—to various hospitals in the Southeast that otherwise typically lacked full-time radiology coverage," according to a statement from acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates.

Reddy faces up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for each count of wire fraud, mail fraud, healthcare fraud, and obstruction of justice, according to the statement.

"This case shows a clear violation of the public trust," said Office of Inspector General Acting Special Agent in Charge Carl D. Bocchicchio. "Ensuring the integrity of healthcare programs remains a top priority."

From May of 2007 to January 2008, "Reddy signed and submitted thousands of reports in his name without even reviewing the films that were the subjects of the reports. Rather, he had non-physician technicians, known as Radiology Practice Assistants, review the film and prepare the reports," the statement said.

According to the statement, "In some cases, Reddy directed the RSI staff to simply sign for him, and transmit the report" as if he had prepared it. "The indictment alleges that the majority of the time he never looked at and analyzed the underlying films, and the reports signed by him therefore did not bear his medical conclusions or those of any other doctor."

The statement did not indicate whether any patients were harmed, went undiagnosed or misdiagnosed because their tests did not receive a radiologist's review. The U.S. Attorney's Office statement does not include any allegations that Reddy fraudulently billed insurance plans or government payers.

The case is also under investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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