Cardiologist in Elko arrested on drug charges
An Elko cardiologist has been arrested on 39 counts of illegally distributing prescription opioids and Medicaid/Medicare fraud.
Dr. Devendra Patel, 58, faces 36 counts of illegally distributing opioids, according to federal authorities. He faces three added counts of fraud.
Prosecutors say each of the 39 counts is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
According to the indictment, Patel routinely prescribed fentanyl, hydrocodone and oxycodone for patients without a legitimate medical purpose and fraudulently billed Medicare and Medicaid for medical tests he didn’t perform. He’s accused of presenting patients with fraudulent X-rays to make them think they had coronary issues he needed to treat.
Patel, who practices at Northeastern Nevada Cardiology, is scheduled to appear in federal court in Reno today.