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Kentucky doctor put unnecessary pacemakers in patients. Now, he’s barred from practicing.

How a national fraud cost Medicare millions before a Hilton Head doctor exposed it

Here's how a national fraud convinced doctors to purchase unnecessary medical tests and cost Medicare millions in the process. It all ended because a Hilton Head doctor — and several others — alerted the federal government.
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Here's how a national fraud convinced doctors to purchase unnecessary medical tests and cost Medicare millions in the process. It all ended because a Hilton Head doctor — and several others — alerted the federal government.

A state panel has suspended the license of a former London heart doctor convicted of health care fraud.

The Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure released an order Monday barring Anis Chalhoub from practicing medicine.

Chalhoub can challenge the order.

Chalhoub was accused of implanting pacemakers in patients who didn’t really need them in order to bill Medicare and other insurance plans for the procedures.

He was a cardiologist at Saint Joseph-London when he performed improper procedures between March 2007 and July 2011. He later practiced in Louisville.

A jury convicted him in April. In October, U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced Chalhoub to 42 months in prison.

The judge also ordered Chalhoub to pay a $50,000 fine and $257,515 in restitution to insurance companies and taxpayer-funded health programs.

Chalhoub maintained during the trial that the pacemakers he implanted were in fact necessary and that he did nothing wrong.

He has filed a notice that he will appeal the conviction.

Saint Joseph Health Systems, the former owner of the London hospital, agreed in January 2014 to pay $16.5 million to settle allegations that it took part in a scheme to make money from unnecessary procedures.

The hospital chain, which did not admit that it broke the law, merged with Jewish Hospital and St. Mary’s HealthCare to form KentuckyOne Health.

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