Qui Tam Lawsuit: A Florida Diabetic Shoe Company Pays More Than $5.5 Million To Settle False Claims Act Case
On January 12th, 2022, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that Foot Care Store, Inc.—a diabetic shoe company based in Palm Beach County, Florida—agreed to pay more than $5.5 million to settle a federal False Claims Act (FCA) case. The lawsuit was filed after a whistleblower brought a qui tam claim alleging Medicare fraud by the company. The company stands accused of improperly billing a federal health program for a more expensive product than it actually provided to patients. In this article, our Florida healthcare billing fraud attorneys offer a more detailed review of the False Claims Act settlement.
Settlement: Improper Billing of Medicare for Non-Compliant Shoe Inserts
Foot Care Store, Inc. is a South Florida company that does business under the trade name Dia-Foot. The company sells shoes and other footwear related products that are designed to meet the unique needs of people with diabetes. According to the False Claims Act settlement reached by the United States Attorneys’ Office for the Southern District of Florida, the company billed a federal health program (Medicare) for costly custom diabetic shoe inserts that were not actually customized.
The alleged improper billing practices (healthcare billing fraud) in this case occurred between 2013 and 2018. The company used generic, prefabricated models to create shoe inserts for diabetic patients. However, the DOJ contends that Medicare was billed for most costly “custom” shoe inserts. Without admitting or denying wrongdoing, Dia-Foot and its CEO will pay in excess of $5.5 million to resolve the Medicare billing fraud allegations. Additionally, the company has agreed to revise its internal billing policy and bring in a compliance officer.
A Whistleblower Took Action to Stop the Medicare Billing Fraud
Similar to many other healthcare billing fraud cases, the enforcement action in this case was originally initiated as a qui tam lawsuit. Simply defined, a qui tam lawsuit is a type of whistleblower claim that allows an individual or group of individuals—often employees or other people with insider knowledge—to file a lawsuit on behalf of the government.
The False Claim Act lawsuit against the Florida-based medical shoe company Dia-Foot was filed by one of its former employees. As the claim allowed the government to take enforcement action and recover compensation, the whistleblower is entitled to a percentage of that recovery. The DOJ did not disclose how much the whistleblower will receive in this healthcare billing fraud qui tam case.
Get Help From Our Florida Healthcare Billing Whistleblower Lawyers
At Guttman, Freidin & Celler, our Florida health care billing fraud attorneys are strong, aggressive advocates for whistleblowers. If you have any specific questions or concerns about your legal rights under the federal False Claims Act or the Florida False Claims Act, we can help. Give us a call now or
send us a message online to set up your free, confidential consultation. Our law firm provides nationwide legal representation in healthcare billing fraud whistleblower claims.