Last month, hospital service provider Team Health Holdings agreed to pay $60 million plus interest to settle a case that involved a physician services company it acquired, which knowingly overcharged several health care programs, violating the False Claims Act. The Justice Department alleged that IPC Healthcare Inc. billed Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Health Agency and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program for services more expensive than what were truly given. It is a practice known as coding.
IPC not only encouraged hospitalists to bill at the highest possible levels, but exerted pressure on hospitalists with lower billing levels to match the higher billing levels of their peers. As part of this defrauding scheme, hospitalists often submitted daily billing records for services that would have taken longer than a day to perform.
The government’s complaint case was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago, while the False Claims Act Lawsuit was filed by whistleblower Dr. Bijan Oughatiyan. Dr. Ooughatiyan is a Dallas resident who was an IPC hospitalist from 2003 to 2008. He will receive $11.4 million as part of his share from the recovery.
In addition to the settlement, TeamHealth agreed to enter into an integrity agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, which is intended to help resolve the company’s issues with transparency and accountability. The agreement is set to last for five years.
At Freidin Brown, P.A., our firm can help you pursue financial compensation for your damages by putting our extensive experience to work for you. Our Miami medical malpractice attorneys have tried over 300 cases in front of a jury and recovered hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for our clients.
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