U.S. — Service Provider’s Crimes Caused Patients’ Deaths

From the FBI news release:

…Rafael Chikvashvili, a 69-year-old Baltimore resident, owned Alpha Diagnostics, a company that provided portable X-rays and other examinations to patients primarily in nursing homes and retirement communities in the Maryland area.

Beginning in 1997, Chikvashvili conspired with others to defraud Medicare, Medicaid, and other insurers in a variety of ways, including by creating false radiology reports that were never ordered or interpreted by a physician. What caused at least two patient deaths, according to court testimony, was that Chikvashvili instructed his non-physician employees—including Timothy Emeigh, the company’s vice president of operations, who was a radiologic technologist but not a doctor—to interpret X-rays instead of sending them to licensed physicians.

A non-physician Alpha Diagnostics employee reviewed one nursing home resident’s chest X-ray images and failed to detect congestive heart failure. As a result, the patient was not transferred to an acute care facility for treatment—which is standard practice—but remained in the nursing home, where she died four days later. Had the patient been transferred, experts said, her symptoms could have been addressed…

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