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Medical Billing Fraud

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Catch of the Week: Laboratory and Two Founders Will Pay up to $16M Over Fraudulent Billing for Urine Drug Testing

Posted  10/22/21
Person wearing lab coat in laboratory
Clinical laboratory MD Labs Inc., and co-founders and owners, Denis Grizelj and Matthew Rutledge, settled charges the lab falsely billed Medicare, Medicaid, and other federal payors for pricey and unnecessary urine drug tests. Over a four-year period, the lab regularly ran two different drug tests at once and then sent results from both tests to the ordering healthcare physician simultaneously, according to the...

October 14, 2021

Owners and executives of Massachusetts mental health provider South Bay Mental Health Center, Inc. have agreed to pay $25 million to resolve claims that they caused the submission of false claims to the state’s Medicaid program, MassHealth, by billing for services provided by unlicensed, unqualified, and improperly supervised staff members in violation of MassHealth regulations. Defendants  H.I.G. Growth Partners, LLC and H.I.G. Capital, LLC will pay $19.95 million and defendants Peter J. Scanlon and Kevin P. Sheehan, who held executive and board positions at relevant entities, will pay $5.05 million.  The case was initiated by the filing of a whistleblower complaint under the Massachusetts False Claims Act.  SBMHC previously agreed to pay $4 million to resolve related charges.  Mass

August 27, 2021

John Peter Smith Hospital (JPS) in Texas has agreed to pay more than $3.3 million to resolve a qui tam suit filed by its former Director of Compliance, Erma Lee, which alleged that the hospital routinely applied billing modifiers that essentially double-billed federal healthcare programs for certain aspects of patients’ care.  Even after raising the issue internally, JPS allegedly failed to reimburse payors, prompting Lee to file the case in 2018.  For doing so, Lee will receive over $900,000 of the settlement proceeds.  USAO NDTX

August 26, 2021

Mental health and addiction services provider Connections Community Support Programs, Inc. has consented to the entry of judgment ordering payment of $15.3 million to resolve claims that it billed federal healthcare programs for mental health services performed by individuals without required professional qualification, billed using incorrect procedure codes, and failed to keep proper records regarding controlled substances.  Connections has filed for bankruptcy, and the government recovery will be limited by the availability of funds in the bankruptcy estate.  The settlement resolves claims brought in a qui tam lawsuit by two former Connections employees.  USAO Del

August 19, 2021

Nevada Advanced Pain Specialists agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims for confirmatory urine drug testing performed without regard to the results of presumptive tests that had been performed. The allegations were first brought in a qui tam lawsuit filed by an whistleblower Omni Healthcare, Inc., which will receive a relator’s share of $150,000 of the settlement.  USAO MA

August 17, 2021

Following a voluntary self-disclosure to authorities, Blessing Hospital in Quincy, Illinois, has agreed to pay $2.82 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims for the facility component of medically unnecessary cardiac catheterization procedures.  The federal government will receive $2.6 million of the settlement, with the remainder going to Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.  USAO CD IL

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

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
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