Drew Medical Center, Inc., a Florida diagnostic radiology company, agreed to pay approximately $1.5 million to resolve qui tam whistleblower claims in a qui tam suit that it systemically charged Medicare for venograms although the company was not performing those procedures.
VSG’s qui tam lawyers, while in private practice and previously with the Department of Justice, have successfully represented whistleblowers and the government, winning many significant False Claims Act recoveries and qui tam settlements. Our whistleblower lawsuits have received national coverage in the media, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, and 60 Minutes.
The following are summaries of some of our cases.
Florida radiologist Fred Steinberg paid $7 million to settle qui tam whistleblower claims in a qui tam lawsuit that he billed Medicare for medical imaging tests that were not ordered and were medically unnecessary. The settlement was among the largest recoveries ever for Medicare fraud against a single physician and his practice.
Emergency Physicians Billing Service paid over $28.8 million to resolve whistleblower claims in a qui tam lawsuit that it systematically overcharged Medicare for emergency physician services. The settlement followed a trial conducted by qui tam attorney Mr. Vogel, co-counsel, and government counsel that established the defendant’s liability under the False Claims Act.
Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare Corporation, a hospital system, paid $8.7 million to resolve whistleblower claims in a qui tam case that it overcharged Medicare for costs of ambulance services.
Extendicare Health Services, Inc., a nationwide nursing home chain, paid $10 million to settle qui tam whistleblower claims that the company’s skilled nursing facilities were providing patients with unnecessary rehabilitation therapy services for the sole purpose of obtaining higher reimbursements from Medicare. Extendicare paid VSG client Tracy Lovvorn an additional $990,000 in settlement of her claims for unlawful retaliation and attorney’s fees.
HCA, Inc., the nation’s largest hospital chain at the time, paid $225.5 million to resolve claims by multiple qui tam whistleblowers that HCA unlawfully paid kickbacks to physicians, and violated the federal “Stark” law, to induce physicians to refer patients whose care would be billed to federal health programs.
Tenet Healthcare, Inc., operator of the nation’s second largest health care chain at the time, paid more than $900 million to settle claims in multiple qui tam whistleblower lawsuits that it had over-billed Medicare through use of an overstated “cost-to-charge” ratio that inflated “outlier” and other cost-based payments sought by this hospital chain.
Fresenius Medical Care North America, a health care company, paid $385 million to settle civil claims in multiple qui tam whistleblower lawsuits that a predecessor company, National Medical Care, Inc., paid unlawful kickbacks to induce physicians and nurses to provide unnecessary intravenous nutrition to dialysis patients covered by Medicare.
Omnicare, Inc. paid $98 million to settle allegations that drug manufacturers paid kickbacks to Omnicare so that the pharmacy chain would prefer their products over competing products when recommending products to nursing home patients, and that Omnicare paid kickbacks to nursing homes to secure their business. The settlements were based on allegations by four qui tam whistleblowers, including a firm client.
Omnicare, Inc. paid more than $20 million to resolve allegations made by a firm qui tam whistleblower client that the pharmacy chain knowingly overbilled the Medicaid programs of Massachusetts and Michigan as a result of its failure to comply with the “usual and customary charge” billing rule. Read Press Release
Ivax Pharmaceuticals a manufacturer of generic medications, paid $14 million to resolve qui tam whistleblower claims by a firm client that it paid kickbacks to become Omnicare’s exclusive supplier of certain generic medications.
Omnicare, Inc. the nation’s largest long term care pharmacy chain, paid $49.5 million to settle allegations made by two qui tam whistleblowers, including a firm client, that it switched the form of patient medications (e.g., tablets to capsules) without physician approval in order to maximize Medicaid reimbursement.