Physician pays $2M to resolve allegations of selling ASC, practice above market value

A California-based interventional cardiologist agreed to pay millions of dollars to settle allegations of violating the False Claims Act, according to a July 19 Justice Department statement.

Siva Arunasalam, MD, allegedly sold his practice, High Desert Heart Vascular Institute in Victorville, Calif., and ASC to Prime Healthcare Services for amounts above fair market value in exchange for referrals to Desert Valley Hospital in Victorville. Prime allegedly overcompensated Dr. Arunasalam after acquiring his practice through an employment agreement based on the volume and value of patient referrals, according to the Justice Department.

Dr. Arunasalam paid $2 million while Prime and its CEO, Prem Reddy, MD, paid more than $35 million as part of the settlement agreement, which also resolves improper billing allegations.

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