HAMMOND | A city physician agreed to plead guilty Friday to accepting kickbacks for Medicare patient referrals and illegally dispensing prescription drugs, federal court records show.
Dr. Linda Rosenberg filed the plea agreement with federal prosecutors in Hammond federal court, admitting to three counts related to her practice at 5500 South Hohman Ave., Suite 2D, Hammond.
Rosenberg sent patients' blood draws to a Chicago-area laboratory, which in turn paid her kickbacks for the referrals, a federal indictment in the case filed Friday alleges.
Between 2006 and 2012, Rosenberg had a similar arrangement with a Northwest Indiana business providing CT scans, X-rays and MRIs, according to the indictment.
Rosenberg is accused of "soliciting and receiving remuneration, including any kickback, bribe or rebate" in return for referring Medicaid and Medicare patients to the facilities.
The Chicago-area laboratory paid Rosenberg about $1,500 per month to submit patients' blood work to the facility, authorities allege.
In March 2012, the lab and Rosenberg conspired to cover up the deal by making it appear as if the payments were for space the lab was leasing from Rosenberg, the indictment alleges.
From June 2011 through February 2012, Rosenberg also accepted $34,000 paid on a semi-monthly basis for patient referrals to the MRI/CT scan business, the indictment states.
In addition to the kickback schemes, Rosenberg also illegally dispensed narcotic prescription painkiller hydrocodone to an unnamed patient — "outside the scope of professional practice," the indictment alleges.
Under her plea agreement, Rosenberg agrees to cooperate in other federal investigations and to forfeit the assets of a 401(k) retirement account.
Rosenberg could face up to five years in prison on the counts, but she is seeking leniency in exchange for her cooperation with law enforcement, the indictment states.