November 3, 2014 — The False Claims Act empowers health care insiders to file a whistleblower lawsuit on the government’s behalf. Courageous whistleblowers help to protect the integrity of our federal healthcare programs, like Medicare or Medicaid, for those who need them. Under the Act, the United States may choose to intervene in the lawsuit and take primary control for litigating it. The statute provides for the government’s recovery of three times the actual damages plus civil penalties. For their willingness to notify the government, tipsters — also referred to as “relators” — are rewarded with a portion of the government’s recovery.
Paid Recruiters Allegedly Brought In Patients While Operators Of Los Angeles Medical Clinics Filed False Claims With Medicare For Treatment Never Provided
Two operators of three California medical clinics have been indicted for Medicare fraud in a $4 million scheme to bill the government for services never provided. Anahit Shatvoryan and
Hovik Simitian allegedly ran three Los Angeles clinics out of the same office building — Life Care Medical Clinic, Columbia Medical Group Inc. and Safe Health Medical Clinic. Between 2010 and 2014, Shatvoryan and Simitian allegedly paid kickbacks to marketers who recruited Medicare beneficiaries as part of the scam. The “patients” purportedly underwent procedures that included nerve conduction tests and anorectal manometry, a test that measures bowel function in patients seeking treatment for chronic constipation. The U.S. Justice Department alleges that the purported treatments were medically unnecessary and not in truth provided. In four years, the clinics allegedly filed more than $4.5 million in phony claims with Medicare. Medicare paid more than $1.6 million on those claims.
False Claims Act Lawsuits Target Abuse By Medical Providers
While Waters & Kraus is not handling this particular False Claims Act case, we are representing whistleblowers in similar lawsuits. If you have comparable claims against a different medical provider, contact us or call our qui tam attorneys at 855.784.0268 to learn more about our practice and how we can work together to notify the government about fraudulent abuses of government-funded programs. Michael Armitage and Louisa Kirakosian, two of the firm’s qui tam attorneys in Southern California where the fraud in this case allegedly occurred, are dedicated to protecting tipsters throughout the whistleblower lawsuit process.