Physician found guilty in spine imaging kickback scheme

Spine

Pyam Toobian, MD, a Kings Point, N.Y.-based physician, was found guilty of a kickback scheme providing gift cards in exchange for patient referrals, according to a press release from the New York State Attorney General.

A jury found Dr. Toobian and his practice, America's Imaging Center, guilty of third degree grand larceny, third degree healthcare fraud and four counts of falsifying business records. He was also found guilty of violating the Social Services Law statute prohibiting kickback payments.

The Nov. 22 statement alleges Dr. Toobian provided kickbacks to two physicians in exchange for referrals from 2006 to 2017, and then told employees to add unordered radiological procedures to the referring physicians' orders for increased Medicaid reimbursement.

The radiological tests added without the referring physician's approval included cervical and lumbar spine MRIs "with contrast" that required unnecessary and invasive injections, according to the statement.

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