Doctor Awarded $11.4 Million for Uncovering False Claims Act Violations
A Texas doctor received an $11.4 million award for helping uncover a major fraudulent scheme by a hospital service provider.
The doctor, Bijan Oughatiyan, filed the suit against his former employer, IPC Healthcare Inc., which is now owned by TeamHealth Holdings. The holding company must now pay $60 million plus interest to settle the allegations that it repeatedly violated the False Claims Act. According to the lawsuit, IPC Healthcare regularly billed Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Health Agency and the Federal Employees Health Benefits program at higher levels of medical service than what was performed. This practice, commonly referred to as “upcoding,” is one of the most common types of False Claims Act violations in the United States.
TeamHealth must also enter a five-year corporate integrity agreement as part of the settlement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General. The agreement contains specific instructions for TeamHealth to increase its transparency and accountability.
Report False Claims Act violations when discovered
People who report False Claims Act violations or bring lawsuits on behalf of the federal government have the potential to get substantial award for their assistance. In this case, Dr. Oughatiyan received almost 20 percent of the money collected in the enforcement action that resulted from his tips, which turned out to be a significant amount of money.
If you have any questions related to how you should proceed with a False Claims Act issue, speak with a skilled Dallas attorney at Whistleblower Law for Managers.