- Associated Press - Friday, September 25, 2015

ASHLAND, Ky. (AP) - A Kentucky cardiologist pleaded not guilty to all charges after being accused of performing unnecessary cardiac stent procedures on hundreds of patients.

Dr. Richard E. Paulus was indicted on one count of health care fraud and 26 counts of making false statements relating to health care matters, the Independent (https://bit.ly/1YF6YZx) reported. On Thursday, Paulus pleaded not guilty to all charges in federal court. A trial is expected to be set for next year. Paulus’ attorney, Robert S. Bennett, said he believes the case may take “substantially longer” to finish.

Paulus turned over his passport and agreed not to seek any travel documents, the newspaper reported.

According to the indictment, Paulus schemed to defraud and obtain money from Medicare, Medicaid and other insurers from 2008 until he retired in 2013. The indictment also said Paulus billed Medicare for more heart catheterization and stent procedures than any other cardiologist in Kentucky.

A few supporters gathered outside the federal building with signs backing Paulus, the newspaper reported.



Alice Huffman, one of Paulus’ patients, said the charges were “absolutely false.” According to her, Paulus once opted to give her medical treatment instead of a heart stent when she had a 60 percent blockage.

According to the report, if found guilty, Paulus will have to pay back three times the amount of the loss he caused the insurance programs, plus up to $11,000 of penalties per false claim.

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