DOJ alleges doctors defrauding Medi-Cal

FRESNO, Calif.

State investigators are questioning hundreds of thousands of dollars in billing by the Fresno Shields Medical Center because of their connection to a radiologist from L.A. A search warrant outlines the alleged fraud carried out by Dr. George Mednik right here in Fresno.

The radiologist has been suspended from the Medi-Cal program since 2004 because of another fraud investigation. But the Department of Justice alleges he used some local doctors as a way around that suspension.

The Fresno Shields Medical Center is the most recent target hit by California investigators looking for evidence of fraud by an L.A. doctor. Action News uncovered a search warrant served there in march accusing Dr. George Mednik of three types of fraud -- including false billing to the Medi-Cal program.

Mednik is suspended from the program, but Department of Justice special agents believe he has continued collecting taxpayer money through other doctors. The DOJ declined to comment on the case, saying it's an ongoing investigation.

But in the warrant they filed with the courts, they say Mednik contracted with Fresno Shields Medical Center and used the confusing billing process to evade his suspension.

Agents analyzed Medi-Cal billings and payments for Fresno Shields Medical Center and found the state paid more than $116,000 for work connected to Dr. Mednik.

The radiologist is still a licensed doctor, and the Fresno doctors said they had no idea he was suspended from Medi-Cal, according to the warrant.

When an Action News reporter went to the medical center to get their response, they referred him to attorney Ruben Villalobos. "We have no comment except that Fresno Shields Medical Center follows all state regulations," he said.

Agents are also questioning more than $425,000 in Medicare payments to Dr. Mednik, although he is still allowed to bill the federal health insurance program, despite the state sanctions.

To this point, nobody's been charged or arrested in connection with the warrant. We tried to reach Dr. Mednik, but he never returned my calls to his offices in L.A. and Beverly Hills.

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