For Immediate Release
MADIGAN JOINS SUIT AGAINST RADIOLOGY CENTERS OVER ILLEGAL PAYMENT OF KICKBACKS TO DOCTORS
Chicago – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today intervened in a lawsuit against several Chicago area radiology centers over their payment of illegal kickbacks to referring doctors. The complaint alleges that the radiology centers entered into sham “lease” agreements with doctors under which the doctors pay a reduced rate for MRI and CT scans but charge the patient’s insurance a higher rate, and then keep the difference.
In 2006, a private plaintiff, the owner of radiology centers in Illinois, filed the lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court on behalf of the State. The court maintained the complaint under seal Attorney General Madigan’s office investigated the allegations and determined whether to join the case. The complaint names MIDI, LLC, a Virginia-based company that operates thirteen Open Advanced MRI facilities in Illinois. The complaint also names several other Chicago area radiology centers.
The lawsuit claims the defendants’ actions violate the Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practices Act, as well as Illinois’ anti-kickback law, the Insurance Claims Fraud Prevention Act. It asks the court to order the defendants to stop paying the illegal kickbacks and seeks money damages, restitution and penalties.
“Illinois has a clear policy against kickbacks, and making payments to doctors for referral of patients is illegal, no matter how those payments are disguised,” Madigan said. “Our investigation revealed evidence showing that this practice occurs among doctors and radiology centers in Illinois. This is an illegal practice that must stop.”
Assistant Bureau Chief David Adams and Assistant Attorney General Janet Doyle of the Special Litigation Bureau are handling the case for Madigan’s office.