Beverly Hills radiologist convicted in kickback scheme

A radiologist from Beverly Hills, CA, was convicted last week on charges that he paid kickbacks for patient referrals for a variety of services, including MRI scans, according to an article in the San Diego Union-Tribune.

Dr. Ronald Grusd was found guilty by a jury in San Diego of charges that included conspiracy, healthcare fraud, and mail and wire fraud. He had been charged with paying kickbacks to referring physicians for services such as MRI and ultrasound scans, toxicology tests, and prescription drugs, according to the article. He would then bill insurance companies for the services.

Prosecutors charged that Grusd and his company, California Imaging Network Medical Group, paid more than $100,000 in kickbacks to doctors, with the payments made through a shell company to hide the activity. The jury did not reach a verdict on charges against the group's administrator, who may be retried; several other employees who worked for the company have pleaded guilty.

The case is part of a workers' compensation fraud sting called Operation Backlash that arrested a number of physicians and medical professionals in 2015 throughout Southern California. Participants "bought and sold patients like cattle" in a scam that began in 2009, according to investigators, and allegedly defrauded the workers' comp system of $25 million in improper claims. Some 40 people and companies have been charged with crimes in federal and state courts, according to the article.

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