Radiologist faces $6.1M suit over false claims

2021 06 01 19 25 5362 Lawsuit 400

The U.S. Attorney's Office in Pennsylvania has sued an interventional radiologist for allegedly bilking $6.5 million in federal reimbursement funds over a four-year period.

In its complaint, the U.S. alleges that Dr. James McGuckin of Radnor, PA, and his entities billed Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for more than 500 medically unnecessary peripheral artery procedures between January 1, 2016, and December 31, 2019. The suit alleges that McGuckin and his entities were reimbursed at least $6.5 million for the procedures.

"Performing medically unnecessary procedures puts patients at risk and contributes to the soaring costs of health care, especially the invasive vascular procedures alleged in this case," said U.S. Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero, in the release.

In addition, the complaint alleges that McGuckin and his affiliated practices knew from prior administrative sanctioning that unnecessary procedures are contrary to standards of care.

In 2015, McGuckin was sanctioned by Washington's state medical board and subsequently in several other states for improperly performing angioplasty and stenting on hundreds of patients for the purported treatment of multiple sclerosis -- a nonvascular disease. Also, in 2018, McGuckin signed a $3.8 million False Claims Act settlement as owner of Vascular Access Centers, which resolved whistleblower lawsuits over similar claims filed in New York and Louisiana.

McGuckin received a medical degree from Hahnemann University in 1987 and completed a fellowship in vascular/interventional radiology at the University of Pennsylvania in 1996, according to the Pennsylvania Vascular Institute.

Under provision of the False Claims Act, if the U.S. proves that a defendant has knowingly submitted false claims, it is entitled to recover three times the damage that resulted, plus a penalty of $13,508 to $27,018 per claim.

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