N.J. Doc in Hot Water; Barred from Practicing for 6 Months

December 14, 2005

A Haddon Township, New Jersey doctor is barred from practice for six months beginning this week, to be followed by a four-and-a-half year probationary period during which his practice will be limited.

Dennis M. Scardigli, M.D., was also ordered to reimburse the State Board of Medical Examiners (BME) $135,000 for its costs in investigating allegations against him. He has already paid a $30,000 civil penalty. Scardigli, who maintained an office in Haddon Township, also agreed to dissolve his corporate entities, Psychophysiological Assessment and Treatment Center and South Jersey Diagnostics.

Under terms of a settlement agreement with the BME, Scardigli agreed not to contest an administrative complaint filed in October 2003 alleging that he had been conducting inadequate clinical examinations; preparing inadequate records of motor vehicle accident patients; and submitting bills to third party payors containing inflated or other improper payment information.

It was also alleged that Scardigli made medically unnecessary referrals of patients to his other corporations, Psychophysiological Assessment and Treatment Center, and South Jersey Diagnostics without disclosing his ownership and without informing the patients of their rights to go elsewhere for testing or treatment.

Even after the end of the probation period, Scardigli, under the terms of the settlement, cannot treat motor vehicle or personal injury cases, cannot refer to outside specialists with whom he has had a financial relationship, and must observe other specified limitations.

During his six-month active suspension, Scardigli must attend and pass a BME-approved refresher course in internal medicine. He must also pass a course in professional ethics and a course in medical record-keeping and coding. Scardigli must appear before the BME and show that these requirements were met before he is allowed to start the probationary period, during which the BME will randomly inspect Scardigli’s patient treatment and billing records.

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