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Whistleblower Rewards

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CATCH OF THE WEEK — Sanford Health to pay over $20M for kickback, unnecessary spinal surgery claims brought by two Sanford doctors

Posted  10/30/19
skeletal drawing of spine
Our Catch of the Week features a $20.25 million settlement with South Dakota-based Sanford Health, Sanford Medical Center, and Sanford Clinic announced by the Justice Department in an October 28, 2019 press release.  The settlement resolves allegations the massive health system knowingly submitted claims for medically unnecessary spinal surgeries and tainted by kickbacks to a top Sanford neurosurgeon.  Two Sanford...

October 28, 2019

Sanford Health, Sanford Medical Center, and Sanford Clinic have agreed to pay $20.25 million and enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement in order to resolve alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and False Claims Act.  Despite warnings by several physicians that a top neurosurgeon was illegally profiting off his use of implantable medical devices as well as performing medically unnecessary surgeries involving the devices, Sanford did nothing to stop the offender, allowing Medicare and Medicaid to continue being defrauded.  The allegations were raised by Sanford surgeons Drs. Carl Dustin Bechtold and Bryan Wellman, who will share in a $3.4 million cut of the settlement proceeds.  DOJ; USAO SD

October 18, 2019

Following a government analysis of Medicare claims data and a whistleblower's qui tam lawsuit, seven former Osteo Relief Institutes and their owners have agreed to pay more than $7.1 million to settle claims of defrauding Medicare.  The alleged fraud involved clinics in Arizona, California, Kentucky, New Jersey, and Texas billing Medicare for medically unnecessary treatments for osteoarthritis, including viscosupplementation injections and knee braces.  The whistleblower involved will receive $857,550.  DOJ

Catch Our Rising Star!

Posted  10/17/19
Headshot of Attorney MRonickher
Law360 has tapped Michael Ronickher, partner in the whistleblower practice at Constantine Cannon, for its 2019 Rising Star series.  Law360 selected Mike for his work representing whistleblowers in all manner of reward programs, including his role in the groundbreaking cybersecurity whistleblower case against Cisco. What motivates Mike?  His clients: “Our clients are a real reason that we all get out of bed in...

How to Become an IRS Whistleblower

Posted  10/16/19
IRS Whistleblower

Answers to Common Questions from Prospective IRS Whistleblowers

Although the New York False Claims Act allows whistleblowers to bring lawsuits based on violations of the state’s tax laws, the federal False Claims Act (FCA) specifically excludes tax claims. Fortunately, the Tax Relief and Health Care Act of 2006 created an IRS Whistleblower Office dedicated to working with whistleblowers. Deciding to be a...

Media Roundup: Constantine Cannon Attorneys on the Ukraine Whistleblower

Posted  10/11/19
As the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry continues to dominate the headlines, numerous Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorneys have been in the news providing experienced commentary on the anonymous whistleblowers who have exposed the alleged misconduct. On Monday, USA Today published an op-ed by Constantine Cannon whistleblower attorney Noelle Yasso challenging President Trump’s claim that he has a...

October 10, 2019

Traverse Anesthesia Associates, P.C. (TAA) and six of its anesthesiologists have agreed to pay $607,966 to resolve a partially-intervened qui tam lawsuit jointly filed by two former employees.  In violation of the False Claims Act, TAA allegedly failed to meet regulatory requirements and conditions of payment in submissions to Medicare.  The unnamed whistleblowers will share a $120,000 award.  USAO WDMI

October 9, 2019

The largest operator of kidney dialysis clinics in the United States has agreed to pay $5.2 million to resolve a lawsuit alleging it submitted false claims to Medicare for excessive and unnecessary immune tests.  From 2013 to 2010, Fresenius Medical Care Holdings, Inc. allegedly billed Medicare for Hepatitis B surface antigen tests it performed on patients already known to be immune, at a frequency well above that established by Medicare.  For exposing the alleged False Claims Act violations, former employee Christopher Drennen will receive a 27.5% share of the recovery.  USAO MA

October 3, 2019

Glenn A. Kline and Community Surgical Associates of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, will pay $4.25 million to resolve claims that Dr. Kline entered into an unlawful kickback arrangement with two hospitals owned by Health Management Associates in exchange for his referral of patients to the hospitals.  The hospitals paid Dr. Kline far above fair market value for his services, and made additional payments to Community Surgical Associates, structuring those payments to conceal their purpose.  HMA previously paid $260 million to resolve related claims; physician groups, EmCare Inc. and Physician’s Alliance Ltd, agreed to pay more than $33 million; and, former HMA CEO Gary Newsome agreed to pay $3.5 million.  The claims against Kline and Community Surgical were original made in a qui tam complaint filed by former HMA executives George Miller and Michael Metts; they will receive $1.05 million of the settlement.  USAO ED PA
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