Today’s news:

Lights out for shady diagnostics center

The owners of a once-thriving chain of Brooklyn imaging clinics are being put out of the radiology business for good, the state attorney general announced this week.

On Monday, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo said he obtained a court order that permanently bans Bay Imaging’s president, Dr. Ruben Fleurantin, and his brother and manager, Aram Fleurantin, both of New Jersey, from engaging in any business that provides radiology services.

In the summer of 2006, Bay Imaging’s three Brooklyn clinics—located at 9201 Fourth Avenue, 1620 Caton Avenue, and 2626 East 14th Street—abruptly closed, leaving patients frantic to retrieve their X-rays, mammograms, and ultrasounds.

Since then, elected officials have been helping patients retrieve their records, but the process has remained frustrating, mostly because of the actions by the brothers, Cuomo said.

“Bay Imaging went out of business and left thousands of patients who depended on the results in these records for their well-being with no recourse,” said Cuomo.

“Because of the company’s negligence, many patients had to undergo additional painful and costly procedures that would have been avoided if the company had simply provided patients and doctors with the initial results of their tests,” he added.

The brothers must also pay $150,000 in penalties and $4,000 in costs to the state, the attorney general said. At press time, they could not be reached for comment.

Cuomo said that as a result of his litigation, over 80,000 patients’ previously unreleased radiology records from Bay Imaging’s three locations are now being maintained by a separate records management company and can be requested in writing.

Bay Imaging must also release and deliver copies of all patient records and continue making them available to patients through the contracted company, Nova Records Management, who must be paid in a timely fashion for maintenance, indexing and storing of the record, Cuomo said.

A report must be filed by July 6, 2008, demonstrating compliance, the attorney general added.

In April 2007, the attorney general’s office obtained a court order requiring the company to immediately provide the records to patients.

Last July, the Fleurantins were found guilty of criminal and civil contempt for failure to comply with two orders. The pair had to each pay a $15,000 fine and serve jail time. Ruben did a four- month stint, while his brother spent 49 days, Cuomo said.

Patients who have been unable to obtain their medical records from Bay Imaging can contact Nova Records Management in writing at: 9B Brick Plant Rd South River, N.J., 08882, or by Fax: 732-698-2045.

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