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Whistleblower Case

This archive displays posts tagged as involving a whistleblower case or claim. You may also be interested in our pages:

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March 13, 2020

Dr. Thi Thien Nguyen Tran and Village Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, LLC, have agreed to pay $1.74 million to settle claims of submitting false and inflated claims to Medicare.  From 2011 to 2016, defendants billed and caused Medicare to pay for lower-level wound repairs as if they were more complex adjacent tissue transfers.  The misconduct was eventually exposed by whistleblowers Dr. Robert Green and Emily Kennedy, who will share in a $305,000 award.  USAO MDFL

March 11, 2020

Millennium Physicians Association PLLC, d/b/a Millennium Respiratory & Sleep Disorder Specialists, has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of fraud in connection with two sleep centers in Texas.  From 2015 to 2019, Millennium allegedly violated Medicare rules and the False Claims Act by improperly billing Medicare for sleep studies conducted without the presence of properly credentialed technicians.  As part of the settlement, the anonymous relator will receive a $187,344  share of the settlement.  USAO SDTX

“Objective Falsity” Is Not Required Under the False Claims Act: A Legally False Opinion May Suffice

Posted  03/6/20
Gavel close-up
In a significant win for whistleblowers, a federal appellate court held this week that, in order to determine liability under the False Claims Act, a whistleblower need not prove that a claim is “objectively” false.  Instead, the Court held that, consistent with common law, a claim can be false under the FCA if based not on objectively verifiable facts, but on non-compliance with statutory or regulatory...

March 4, 2020

STG Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. and senior executives Paschal Gilley and Mathew Gilley have agreed to resolve fraud allegations by paying $1.75 million.  The case against the hospice was launched by two former employees, Serita Samuel and Miranda Eskridge, who alleged in a qui tam suit that STG Healthcare submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid that arose from illegal payments to so-called back-up medical directors, and that were on behalf of patients who were not terminally ill and thus ineligible for palliative care.  GA AG; USAO NDGA

February 28, 2020

Nursing home chain Diversicare Health Services, Inc. has agreed to pay $9.5 million to resolve whistleblower-brought allegations of submitting claims to Medicare and Medicaid for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services.  According to separate qui tam complaints by former employees, Mary Haggard and Bryant Fitzmorris, between 2010 to 2015, Diversicare unnecessarily placed beneficiaries in the highest category of reimbursement in order to receive higher payouts, and submitted forged pre-admission evaluation certifications to Medicaid.  As part of the settlement, Diversicare has entered into a Corporate Integrity Agreement for five years, Haggard will receive approximately $1.4 million, and Fitzmorris will receive approximately $145,450.  DOJ; USAO MDTN

February 28, 2020

Sanofi-Aventis U.S., LLC has agreed to pay $11.85 million to resolve allegations of paying kickbacks to Medicare patients in connection with a multiple sclerosis drug called Lemtrada.  According to the press release, Lemtrada costs nearly $100,000 per patient per year, and Medicare co-pays can be many thousands of dollars per year.  In order to break down barriers to access for Medicare patients, Sanofi allegedly provided kickbacks to them via payments to a purportedly independent charitable foundation, The Assistance Fund (TAF), which helps covers the co-pays in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute.  The scheme was reported by a partnership formed by Sanofi's predecessor, Genzyme Corporation, which will receive about $2.7 million for their role in the case.  USAO MA

First Circuit Revives Whistleblower Suit Against PharMerica, Rejecting Public Disclosure Challenge

Posted  02/28/20
boston-first-circuit-building
Rejecting an argument that only a fraudster could love, the First Circuit Court of Appeals revived a whistleblower’s lawsuit and rightly recognized that whistleblowers can have “direct” knowledge of fraud even if they did not themselves participate in the fraud. In United States ex rel. Banigan & Templin, et al. v. PharMerica, Inc., the First Circuit interpreted the so-called “original source” provision of...

Treble Damages Awarded in Medicare Whistleblower Case

Posted  02/21/20
specimen jar
The Fifth Circuit upheld a 2018 lower court decision this week, finding defendant BestCare Laboratory Services, LLC and its owner Karim Maghareh liable for treble damages—to the tune of just over $30 million—under the False Claims Act. BestCare provided clinical testing services for nursing home residents, many of whom were Medicare beneficiaries. Rather than billing for a technician’s travel to and from the...

Catch of the Week: Guardian Elder Care

Posted  02/21/20
person holding elder's hand
This week's DOJ Catch of the Week goes to Guardian Elder Care.  On Wednesday, the operator of more than 50 nursing homes in Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia agreed to pay roughly $15.5 million to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act by billing the government -- Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program -- for medically unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services.  According to...

February 19, 2020

Guardian Elder Care Holdings, Inc. has agreed to pay $15.5 million to settle claims of defrauding Medicare and Medicaid.  In a qui tam suit filed in 2015, whistleblowers Philippa Krauss and Julie White alleged that from 2011 to 2017, the Pennsylvania-based nursing home chain pressured its therapists to provide medically unnecessary rehabilitation to patients suffering from dementia or dying in hospice care in order to boost its profits.  During the subsequent government investigation, Guardian Elder Care self-disclosed that it had also billed federal healthcare programs for services performed by two excluded individuals.  As part of the settlement, Guardian Elder Care has entered into a chain-wide Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, and Krauss and White will split a $2.8 million relator's share.  USAO EDPA; USAO WDPA
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