September 13, 2013 — False Claims Act violations in the health care industry rob the American people of hard-earned tax dollars needed for legitimate purposes. To tackle the problem, many conscientious employees working inside the health care field collaborate with the government by filing whistleblower lawsuits on the government’s behalf. The False Claims Act’s qui tam provisions enable informants to keep a share of any settlement or judgment.
Imagimed Resolves False Claims Act Lawsuit in Multi-Million Dollar Settlement
Imagimed LLC, a New York health care provider that runs fifteen “Open MRI” testing facilities, has consented to pay $3.57 million to settle whistleblower allegations involving False Claims Act violations. Imagimed’s former owners, Dr. Timothy J. Greenan and William B. Wolf III, and its former chief radiologist, Dr. Steven Winter, have also agreed to the settlement to end the allegations against them.
According to the DOJ, Imagimed, Wolf, Greenan and Winter submitted false claims to Medicaid, Medicare and TRICARE on a number of occasions between 2001 and 2008. They allegedly submitted claims for MRI procedures using a contrast dye when no qualified physician was present to supervise, despite a federal regulation requiring a doctor’s supervision. The precaution is necessary because one of the potential side effects of contrast dye is anaphylactic shock, which is life-threatening.
Between 2005 and 2008, it is alleged, the defendants in the False Claims Act lawsuit billed publicly funded healthcare programs for services referred by doctors with whom the imaging centers had improper financial relationships. To repay the doctors for the patient referrals, Imagimed allegedly entered into phony on-call arrangements with the physicians, offered them complimentary pre-authorization services and presented them with a variety of gifts as well, all in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law.
The allegations against Imagimed first came to light in a whistleblower lawsuit filed under the federal False Claims Act by Dr. Patrick Lynch, a New York radiologist. Dr. Lynch will receive $565,500 as his share of the government’s recovery and for helping to uncover this fraud.
Health Care Insiders Tackle Medicaid Fraud with False Claims Act Suits
Diagnostic center whistleblowers thinking about filing a False Claims Act lawsuit deserve to understand their own interests under the statute. The whistleblower lawyers at Waters & Kraus are keenly focused on protecting tipsters’ interests. Contact us by email or call our qui tam attorneys at 855.784.0268 to learn more about our health care fraud practice.