Today in Federal District Court in Frankfort, KY, Dr. Sandesh Patil of London, KY was sentenced to 30 months in a federal facility near Beaumont, TX. He will begin serving on November 19, 2013. Dr. Patil had pleaded guilty to submitting an improper bill to the Medicare Program for a patient on whom he had performed cardiac angioplasty at St Joseph London Hospital. The sentence was at the lowest end of the 30 to 37 month range agreed upon in the plea bargain of June 2013. No fine was imposed. There was no discussion of eligibility for parole.
Court documents detailing the felony acts committed and justifying a substantial sentence for billing fraud were sealed and “not available to the public.” My earlier concerns that the public might never find out exactly what happened at St. Joseph London Hospital and in Laurel County appear to be being validated. The discussion in the courtroom was interesting and the legal proceedings were obviously conducted deliberately and fairly, but as a physician I was left feeling uncomfortable when it was declared to be a mitigating factor that no patients were harmed by Dr. Patil’s misconduct. Neither my notes nor my memory recall that the word angioplasty was used. Something is not computing for me that I need to more fully understand.
I will describe the afternoon’s events in more detail very soon.
Peter Hasselbacher, MD
Emeritus Professor of Medicine, UofL
1 October, 2013