A physician who alleged in a federal whistleblower lawsuit that his former employer encouraged employees to overbill federal programs for higher and more expensive levels of medical service than were actually performed will collect about $11.4 million.
Dr. Bijan Oughatiyan filed the lawsuit against IPC Healthcare Inc. under the False Claims Act in the Northern District of Illinois.
IPC Healthcare Inc. is based in North Hollywood, California.
An affiliate and successor of IPC — TeamHealth Holdings — agreed Monday to pay $60 million plus interest to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act.
The whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery. The FCA allows the government to intervene and take over the action, as it did in this case.
The lawsuit alleged that IPC Healthcare overbilled Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Health Agency, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.
As part of the settlement, TeamHealth entered into a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General covering the company’s hospital medicine division. The agreement is designed to increase TeamHealth’s accountability and transparency.
U.S. Attorney Zachary Fardon said, “Medical providers who fraudulently seek payments to which they are not entitled will be held accountable,. False documentation of treatment is not just flawed patient care; it is illegal.”
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.