More than three dozen health care providers have been suspended by state and federal regulators over claims of deceptive advertising, and more than 1,000 doctors and other health care professionals are under investigation by state health departments and the FBI, the Associated Press reported Friday.
The AP said the investigation, which includes the FBI and a state attorney general’s office, was spurred by a lawsuit filed last month by the New York Medical Society and the American Medical Association.
The lawsuit claims that at least 17 doctors and more are being paid to misrepresent their clinical expertise, lack clinical training and falsely claim patients have not received any preventative or therapeutic services, AP reported.
The lawsuit alleges that the doctors and medical professionals who were disciplined are paid more than $10 million and have received more than a dozen settlements, AP said.
Health care providers are generally required to report deceptive practices in the first year of business, but that does not apply to them when they are suspended by regulators, the AP reported, citing government documents.
The AP reported that more than half of the health care institutions that have been affected by the federal government’s inquiry were accredited for admitting privileges.
The Associated Press was unable to independently verify the AP’s claims.
Healthcare providers have for years struggled to comply with federal regulations that require them to post information about their patient populations and health outcomes on their websites and in marketing materials.
Federal regulators are investigating five health care facilities that were among the first to open their doors to patients.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declined to comment on the AP report.
The American Medical Alliance also has been accused of misleading consumers about the effectiveness of preventive services and failed to post proper patient information on its websites.
The state attorney chief for New York told the AP that the AP had a “misleading, false, and deceptive” report.
“The AP failed to conduct a thorough investigation and did not adequately identify the violations in question,” David Weintraub said in a statement.
The New York State Health Department has launched an investigation into the complaints.
A spokesman for the state attorney’s office said he would not comment on pending litigation.
The American Medical Assn., the nation’s largest physician group, said in January that it had paid nearly $30 million to settle complaints about misleading marketing.
The group is one of the biggest employers of physicians in the U .
But in recent years, the organization has also faced complaints about the way it is run, particularly by its chief executive, Jonathan Greenblatt, a former top aide to President Donald Trump.