Spokane cardiologist Romeo Pavlic to pay $300,000 to settle federal medical fraud claims
Spokane cardiologist Dr. Romeo Pavlic agreed Tuesday to pay $300,000 to settle a federal lawsuit alleging he overbilled Medicaid and Medicare for tests he did not perform on developmentally disabled patients at Lakeland Village in Medical Lake.
Pavlic, who is affiliated with multiple hospitals, including Deaconess Hospital and Providence Holy Family Hospital, has been practicing in the Spokane area since 1980.
“When doctors exploit vulnerable patients and bill for procedures that were never performed, they violate the basic trust that patients and taxpayers extend to healthcare providers,” said Steven Ryan, of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, in a news release. “We will continue to aggressively pursue those who engage in health care fraud.”
According to court documents, Pavlic would conduct “cardiac clinics” at Lakeland Village where once a month he would bill for “services not provided or tests not conducted.” For instance, Pavlic continually billed for echocardiograms, which use high-frequency waves to make pictures of the heart and its arteries so that doctors can detect potential problems, when instead he provided other “limited” tests.