Ohio doctor accused of $7.2 million medical fraud

CLEVELAND (AP) — A federal court indictment alleges a northeast Ohio cardiologist performed unnecessary procedures as part of an alleged scheme to overbill Medicaid and private health insurance companies by $7.2 million.

Fifty-five-year-old Dr. Harold Persaud (per-SAWD') of the Cleveland suburb of Westlake is accused of performing unnecessary tests, heart catheterizations and stent insertions. He also is accused of referring patients for coronary bypass surgeries they didn't need.

An indictment says Persaud engaged in the scheme between February 2006 and June 2012.

He faces 16 counts, including one count of health care fraud and 14 counts of making false statements. A news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Cleveland says Persaud's overbilling resulted in $1.5 million in illegal payments.

Persaud's attorney couldn't be immediately reached.

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