- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Doctors, practice settle billings case for $3.7M

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - An Elizabethtown medical practice and two owners have agreed to a $3.7 million settlement in a case stemming from a whistleblower lawsuit that alleged false billings for chemotherapy patients, federal authorities said Tuesday.

Federal and state officials contend that Dr. Rafiq Ur Rahman and Dr. Yusuf K. Deshmukh billed for unnecessary evaluations and, along with their practice, Elizabethtown Hematology Oncology, extended chemotherapy times so they could improperly bill Medicare, Medicaid and other government health care programs, the U.S. attorney’s office in Louisville said.

Attorneys for Rahman and Deshmukh did not immediately return phone messages left after hours Tuesday at their offices.

Some of the allegations were included in a whistleblower lawsuit brought by another physician, Dr. Ijaz Mahmood, who will receive more than $280,000 in the settlement.

Bowling Green attorney John Caudill, who represents Mahmood, said his client was in the same practice but left in 2011, when he brought the whistleblower action, and now practices solo.

Caudill said the case was about more than money.


Smoking ban among priorities of 2014’s lobbyists

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) - A public smoking ban that failed to pass was among the top priorities of Kentucky’s highest paid lobbyists this year.

Overall, lobbyist spending declined slightly to $8.7 million - down from the record $8.8 million in 2012. Most of that money was for lobbyist salaries.

“It’s close to 90 percent of the expenditures or better is for salaries rather than for lavish parties or something like that,” Tony Wilhoit, executive director of the Kentucky Legislative Ethics Commission, said Tuesday.

The smoking ban that would have prohibited lighting up in businesses, places of employment and some other public places never made it to a vote on the House floor and a similar bill failed in the Senate. No breakdown was available for how much of the total spending was on lobbying for and against the smoking ban. Lobbyists are required to report only on total spending.

Wilhoit said he expects lobbyist spending to increase in 2015 because of a new law that requires employers to report any money spent on advertising regarding legislation.

Kentucky’s top five lobbyists of the 2014 legislative session were:

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