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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Pennsylvania

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 19, 2018

United States Resolves Claims That Philadelphia Cardiologist Billed Medicare For Unnecessary Stent Procedures

PHILADELPHIA – Vidya Banka, M.D., a cardiologist and former director of Pennsylvania Hospital’s cardiac catheterization lab, has entered into a settlement agreement with the United States to resolve allegations that he improperly submitted Medicare claims for unnecessary cardiac stent procedures.  

The University of Pennsylvania Health System (“UPHS”), which owns Pennsylvania Hospital, brought the matter to the United States’ attention through a voluntary self-disclosure. In January 2017, UPHS reached a separate settlement with the United States. The United States then continued to investigate Dr. Banka.

Dr. Banka had privileges to admit patients to Pennsylvania Hospital and ceased working there in September 2012.

The United States alleged that between May 5, 2010 and September 7, 2012, Dr. Banka performed cardiac stent procedures at Pennsylvania Hospital that were not medically necessary. According to the United States, claims were then submitted to Medicare for stent procedures that Dr. Banka performed.

To resolve the matter, Dr. Banka has agreed to pay a civil penalty of $126,617. He has also agreed to a five-year term of exclusion from Medicare, Medicaid, and all other Federal health care programs. Dr. Banka admitted no liability as part of the agreement.

 “We encourage health care organizations to make voluntary disclosures to the government when they identify false claims,” said United States Attorney Louis D. Lappen. “This agreement with Dr. Banka shows that we will and must hold individuals accountable.  Voluntary disclosure by an institution is not a free pass from accountability for the individual directly responsible for the false claims.”

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Macko handled the matter. The matter was investigated by the Office of the Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services, and by Auditor Dawn Wiggins of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Topic(s): 
False Claims Act
Updated March 19, 2018