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Feds arrest fifth doctor in Sacred Heart Hospital kickback case

Updated: May 7, 2013 11:15AM

Federal investigators arrested a fifth doctor Wednesday evening in their ongoing probe of the West Side’s Sacred Heart hospital.

Dr. Kenneth Nave was nabbed at a Miami airport, a day after four of his colleagues were charged with taking kickbacks from hospital owner Edward Novak to refer cases to Sacred Heart.

Nave — who’d previously been stripped of his prescription-writing powers for earlier wrongdoing — allegedly used another doctor’s name and license to get around the ban, illegally prescribing drugs to more than two-dozen of Sacred Heart patients following his hire in September last year.

His medical license was indefinitely suspended Thursday by the Illinois Department of Professional Regulation.

According to a federal affidavit, Novak instructed Nave to “keep a low profile” once he discovered he’d been illegally prescribing drugs.

Novak also allegedly joked to a hospital administrator that records showing how Sacred Heart credentialed Nave to work “had disappeared.”

Novak is additionally accused of — but has yet to be charged with — encouraging his surgeons to perform unnecessary procedures on patients to scam Medicare and Medicaid out of cash, according to a federal affidavit.

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