LAFAYETTE — The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to hear the appeal of a former Lafayette cardiologist serving a 10-year prison term for health care fraud, according to court records filed this week.

Dr. Mehmood M. Patel, who reported to federal prison in December, was accused of billing insurers for unnecessary heart procedures and falsifying medical records to support the payments.

A federal jury in 2008 convicted Patel on 51 counts of health care fraud after a three-month trial, and a judge in 2009 sentenced him to 10 years in prison.

Patel had remained free until last year pending an appeal to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, which upheld the conviction.

He then asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the case, but the high court has turned down that request, according to a notice filed into the appeal record this week.

Patel billed Medicare and private insurance companies more than $3 million over a three-year period, and the doctor was the top biller for cardiology services in Louisiana from 1999 to 2003, according to figures from the U.S. Attorney’s Office.