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Healthcare Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to healthcare fraud.

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August 6, 2021

Maryland-based National Spine & Pain Center (NSPC) and its affiliate, Physical Medicine Associates, Ltd. (PMA), have agreed to pay $5.1 million to Medicare and enter into a non-prosecution agreement to settle a criminal fraud investigation.  In violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, NSPC and PMA had conspired with a now-defunct California-based genetics testing company called Proove Biosciences to have Proove pay illegal kickbacks to NSPC and PMA physicians in exchange for a certain volume of test referrals.  Nine individuals have been charged in connection with the scheme.  USAO SDCA

August 6, 2021

A county in California and a county medical center have agreed to pay $11.4 million to resolve allegations of improperly billing a federal healthcare program between 2013 and 2017.  According to whistleblower Felix Levy, a former employee of San Mateo County Medical Center (SMMC), San Mateo County and SMMC billed Medicare for uncovered hospital stays for patients that were admitted without regard to medical necessity.  USAO NDCA

Media Coverage of Government Intervention in Kaiser Medicare Advantage Suits: LA Times says Cases Point to a “Massive Fraud Problem in Medicare”

Posted  08/6/21
Headshots of attorneys Edward Baker, Mary Inman, and Michael Ronickher
As we announced last week, the U.S. Department of Justice gave notice that it was intervening in six different False Claims Act lawsuits against Medicare Advantage organization Kaiser Permanente and its affiliated entities, including a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Constantine Cannon’s whistleblower client, James Taylor, M.D.  The government’s decision received extensive coverage in the media, with Los Angeles...

August 5, 2021

Ascension Michigan and related hospitals, which allegedly billed federal healthcare programs for services performed by a gynecologic oncologist that were not medically necessary or rendered as represented, has agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve their liability under the False Claims Act.  The settlement resolves claims from a 2017 qui tam suit by whistleblowers Pamela Satchwell, Dawn Kasdorf, and Bethany Silva-Gomez, that Ascension knowingly submitted claims for medically unnecessary hysterectomies and chemotherapy, and unrendered evaluation and management services.  Spurred by patient complaints, Ascension launched an internal investigation, ultimately self-disclosing the misconduct to the government in 2018.  As part of the settlement, Satchwell, Kasdorf, and Silva-Gomez will share in a $532,000 award.  USAO EDMI

Catch of the Week: Waived Copayments and “Free” Glucometers Result in $160 Million Recovery in Whistleblower Action Against Previously-Barred Arriva Medical

Posted  08/4/21
Woman using glucometer and diabetes testing strips
Mail-order diabetes supply company Arriva Medical has agreed to pay $160 million to resolve a False Claims Act case filed in 2013 by a whistleblower who worked for ten months in one of the company’s call centers.  The government intervened in the whistleblower’s action in early 2019, and the case had been set for trial in June 2022. The settlement is the latest in a long string of actions against Arriva and...

August 2, 2021

Diabetic testing supply company Arriva Medical LLC and its parent company Alere Inc. will pay $160 million to resolve claims first brought in a whistleblower case alleging that Arriva provided unlawful patient inducements in the form of “free” or “no cost” glucometers and copayment waivers.  Defendants were alleged to have systematically provided all new patients with glucometers, and billed Medicare for those meters, although Medicare beneficiaries are only eligible for a new meter once every five years.  In addition, Arriva was alleged to have billed Medicare for deceased beneficiaries.  The whistleblower, Gregory Goodman, who was an employee at an Arriva call center, will receive a whistleblower award of $28.5 million.  Executives at Arriva previously agreed to a settlement of claims against them.  DOJ; USAO MD Tenn

Kaiser Permanente – Medicare Advantage Risk Adjustment Fraud (Case Intervention)

Constantine Cannon represents Dr. James Taylor, a highly placed physician and healthcare coding expert, in False Claims Act litigation against Kaiser Permanente.  He is among a group of ten whistleblowers who accuse the large Medicare Advantage organization of knowingly submitting false claims for risk-adjusted payments to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).  The suit alleges that Kaiser routinely obtained fraudulently inflated risk-adjusted payments by knowingly submitting diagnosis codes for patients that were unsupported by the patients’ medical records, and the government’s intervention focuses on unsupported diagnosis codes that Kaiser allegedly improperly added through addenda to patients’ medical records.  The qui tam whistleblower suit was unsealed on July 29, 2021. See:  Taylor Amended Complaint; DOJ Press Release

United States Reaches a “Tipping Point” in Managed Care Enforcement: DOJ Intervenes in Constantine Cannon’s Lawsuit Against Kaiser Permanente

Posted  07/30/21
Kaiser Permanente Building with Logo
In a sign that the government’s enforcement efforts against fraud in the Medicare managed care system have reached a tipping point, the U.S. Department of Justice announced today that it is joining a portion of a whistleblower lawsuit brought by a Constantine Cannon client under the False Claims Act against Kaiser Permanente and affiliated entities, one of the nation’s largest managed-care organizations. ...

July 23, 2021

Alabama non-profit SpectraCare Health Systems, Inc., which provides services including developmental disability services, intermediate care medical services, and behavioral health services, agreed to pay $1 million to resolve claims first brought in a whistleblower action alleging that the provider improperly billed Alabama Medicaid and failed to return overpayments to the Alabama Medicaid Agency.  The defendant was alleged to have submitted false claims including claims without correct and complete documentation, and duplicate claims, and to have knowingly retained payments it received to which it was not entitled.  The settlement will be split between the federal government and the Alabama Medicaid Agency, with the whistleblower receiving 19% of the federal recovery.  USAO MD AL

Catch of the Week: EEG Testing Company and Private-Investment Company to Pay $15.3M for Kickback and False-Billing Allegations

Posted  07/23/21
man holding money in hand and another hand with one finger over mouth
Whistleblowers came forward with six False Claims Act actions against a national EEG testing company and an investment company for allegedly paying kickbacks and falsely billing government healthcare programs.  Texas-based provider Alliance Family of Companies (now Stratus) and private investor Ancor Holdings together will pay $15.3 million to resolve the cases. For their actions in coming forward, two...
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