Photo: Jason Hill (Flickr)
The Indiana Attorney General’s Office is arguing that the license of a Bloomington doctor who was convicted of insurance fraud should be revoked.
Kamal Tiwari, 60, was convicted of defrauding insurance providers by prescribing his patients drugs they did not need. He pleaded guilty in March to health care fraud and unlawful drug distribution charges and was sentenced this week to serve three-and-a-half years in prison and a $1.3 million fine as part of a plea deal.
Now that the sentencing is complete, Attorney General Greg Zoeller says he plans to resume proceedings relating to Tiwari’s medical license. Zoeller will present the state’s case against Tiwari, but an independent medical licensing board will decide whether to revoke his medical license.
“We haven’t forgotten about the medical license which is a separate legal issue from this physician’s sentence on his criminal charges,” Zoeller said in a statement. “Given the larger problem of prescription drug abuse in Indiana, our goal is to protect the public from any physicians that engage in this irresponsible conduct.”
In its initial complaint, the Attorney General’s Office said Tiwari had become unfit to practice after knowingly prescribing powerful painkillers to 10 patients who were known substance abusers, five of whom later died of drug overdoses.
The judges sentence specifies Tiwari should serve at least 85 percent of his three-and-a-half year sentence before he is released.
U.S. Attorney’s Office Spokesman Tim Horty says attorneys once argued the sentence should be closer to six or seven years, but says his office respects Judge Sarah Evans Barker’s decision. Horty says he hopes Tiwari’s sentence will prevent future health fraud.
“I think the impact is, others who may think that this is something they would attempt to engage in would be the overdetermined value to let them know that Federal Prosecutor as well as the Health and Human service agency are watching for violation someone to this,” he says. “And if you take that chance and get caught, you will be held accountable and likely to spend federal prison time.”
Gretchen Frazee contributed to this report.