TERRY RAMNANAN ALLEGEDLY PAID A CHIROPRACTOR FOR PATIENT REFERRALS TO HIS PAIN-MANAGEMENT FACILITY

Terry Ramnanan, of Upper Saddle River, N.J., was charged with third-degree conspiracy and commercial bribery for allegedly paying a Totowa chiropractor for patient referrals to his pain-management facility.
Terry Ramnanan, of Upper Saddle River, N.J., was charged with third-degree conspiracy and commercial bribery for allegedly paying a Totowa chiropractor for patient referrals to his pain-management facility. PHOTO: OFFICE OF THE NEW JERSEY ATTORNEY GENERAL

 

New Jersey is cracking down on illegal kickbacks in the health-care industry, charging on Wednesday the latest in a string of doctors accused of commercial bribery in recent years.

State prosecutors charged neurologist Terry Ramnanan, of Upper Saddle River, with third-degree conspiracy and commercial bribery for allegedly paying a Totowa chiropractor for patient referrals to his pain-management facility in Paramus between 2012 and 2016.

Dr. Ramnanan, 64 years old, didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

The New Jersey Attorney General’s Commercial Bribery Task Force, formed in 2016 after dozens of doctors were charged with medical fraud, has uncovered several instances of medical professionals paying illegal kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals worth millions of dollars.

Christopher Iu, acting Insurance Fraud Prosecutor, said state officials will aggressively prosecute such bribery cases.

“Patients must be able to trust that their health-care treatments are based on sound medicine, not the greed and corruption of their doctors,” Mr. Iu said in a written statement on Wednesday. “Medical professionals who exploit that trust for personal gain will be held accountable.”

Dr. Ramnanan faces three-to-five years in state prison, and up to $15,000 in fines. The chiropractor, Ronald Hayek, pleaded guilty in July 2016 to conspiracy, money laundering, commercial bribery and failure to pay taxes. Dr. Hayek admitted in his plea to accepting tens of thousands of dollars in kickbacks from Dr. Ramnanan and others.

In June, five doctors pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges after an investigation uncovered a long-running test-referral scheme involving a former New Jersey clinical laboratory. Fifty people, including 36 doctors, have been convicted in the case, which federal officials said involved millions of dollars in bribes.

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