Investigative Group

Ohio Physicians Charged With Distributing Opioids, Performing Unnecessary Medical Tests

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Ethan Barton Managing Editor

Two married physicians were charged with 24 counts related to performing unnecessary medical tests to defraud insurance companies and illegally distributing prescription opioids, the Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

The tests Drs. Ashis K. Rakhit, 65 and Jayati Gupta Rakhit, 56, both of Moreland, Ohio, unnecessarily performed between 2011 and 2018 include electrocardiograms, nuclear stress tests, carotid artery scans and abdominal ultrasounds, according to the indictment.

The Rakhits also recorded symptoms that patients didn’t actually have to justify unnecessary tests, the indictment said. The couple billed Medicare, Medicaid and private insurers for more costly services than what they actually performed.

“Not only did these physicians put their patients through unnecessary medical procedures so they could line their pockets with extra income, they also prescribed controlled narcotics that were not medically required,” FBI Special Agent in Charge Stephen D. Anthony said in a statement.

More than 200,000 Americans have died from prescription opioid overdoses since 2000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ohio is the state with the second highest death rate from opioid overdoses, with about 22 per 100,000 people – more than double the national rate, Business Insider reported in October.

“Given the current opioid epidemic, prescribing unnecessary narcotics only further contributes to this crisis,” Anthony said.

The Rakhits were indicted on 11 counts of health care fraud and six counts of false statements. They were also charged with one count of conspiracy and each were charged with three counts of distribution of controlled substances.

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