Tucson cardiologists settle Stark law case

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona in Phoenix has reached a settlement with three Tucson cardiologists accused of submitting claims for Medicare payments for nuclear cardiology studies in violation of the Stark law prohibiting self-referral.

Drs. Richard Cohn, Lee Goldberg, and Timothy Marshall agreed to pay $355,000 to settle the case, which covered Medicare claims from January 2007 to October 2007. The settlement includes no admission from the doctors of any wrongdoing or liability.

The Arizona Daily Star reported that the doctors opened the Tucson Cardiovascular Imaging nuclear medicine practice in 2007 and found their billing practices to be in violation of the self-referral law soon after opening.

According to the article, the physicians reported the error to the federal government and subsequently agreed to the settlement.

The newspaper quoted Goldberg as saying the practice closed by its own decision as soon as it discovered the errors. He added that he and his colleagues now have separate practices.

Related Reading

ACR: Maryland self-referral case in appeal, October 23, 2008

Stark, raving mad? Physicians say Maryland's self-referral laws too broad, January 15, 2008

Cardiologists, orthopods boost imaging use and adoption rates, studies find, November 26, 2007

CMS to delay portion of Stark III, November 20, 2007

Same-specialty referring physicians use imaging more frequently, study says, November 8, 2007

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