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Hagerstown doctor fined, suspended

February 13, 1999|By MARLO BARNHART

Dr. Paul Yazdani has been stripped of his license to practice medicine in Maryland until August and fined $20,000 for "immoral and unprofessional conduct" in the practice of medicine, according to the state board that oversees all physicians.

"I deny all their charges," Yazdani said Friday. "I had to take their deal because my health is failing over this."

He said he will keep his office open so he can arrange for other medical care for his patients. And he said he will take it easy for a while.

"I could have fought this but I have had it up to here," Yazdani said. "And it's costing me a lot of money."

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The six-month suspension in Maryland comes just over a year after the Hagerstown physician pleaded guilty in Washington County Circuit Court to two counts of felony theft for submitting bogus bills in excess of $6,000 to insurance companies.

In January 1998, Yazdani was given probation before judgment, placed on supervised probation for two years, ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and to pay back the money.

At that hearing, Yazdani's attorney, Charles Bernstein, issued a statement referring to the incidents as "errors in billing."

Bernstein said the investigation revealed no improprieties or shortcomings with regard to patient care.

But in its Jan. 8, 1999, ruling, the Maryland State Board of Physician Quality Assurance cited numerous examples of "inappropriate behavior" and "unprofessional comments" made to female patients who then complained to the state board.

The board also cited Yazdani for practicing medicine with an unlicensed person, specifically his sister, Fariba Yazdani, who performed physical therapy on a number of patients even though she had no training in that field.

Billing problems, excessive testing and failure to deliver quality care were also cited in the board's findings which came after 23 medical records from patients seen in 1993 were obtained at random.

Last year, Yazdani, 39, had an office of general medicine at 18638 Crestwood Drive. The current telephone book lists Yazdani's office at 19236 Meadow View Drive.

Assistant Washington County State's Attorney Gina Cirincion said in January 1998 that there were several incidents beginning in 1991 in which patients reported signing blank treatment forms when visiting Yazdani's office.

Those patients later reported billings to their insurance companies for office visits and procedures that didn't happen, Cirincion said.

The investigation into the fraud was conducted by John H. Jones of the Maryland Insurance Administration, fraud division.

Yazdani didn't testify at the hearing last year.

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