Mid Dakota Clinic – Medicare Fraud/ASC Kickbacks ($5.45M)
The Constantine Cannon team represented Jeffery Neuberger, the former CEO of a medical group in North Dakota, in a 2017 False Claims Act case alleging a scheme in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) between the medical group and its wholly owned ambulatory surgery center (ASC). The AKS is intended to prevent abuses (such as unnecessary treatments) that can occur when a doctor makes money from referring patients for goods or services. The ASC safe-harbor to the AKS is limited; it essentially permits ASC ownership only by surgeons who perform procedures or surgeries in the ASC as a functional extension of his or her office. The lawsuit alleges that all of the multi-practice physician owners profited from referrals, not only the surgeons, and that they refused to give up this lucrative income stream despite knowing that it violated the AKS. In November 2019, Mid Dakota Clinic, its affiliated building partnership, and insurer agreed to pay the United States $4.15 million to resolve the case. The clinic additionally paid $1.3 million for the whistleblower’s attorneys’ fees and costs, for a total payment of $5.45 million. The United States awarded Mr. Neuberger a 25% relator’s share of its recovery.