In the July 13 edition of the Report on Medicare Compliance, Editor Nina Armstrong quoted Ken Nolan in her article titled, “Teaching Hospital Settles Physician Billing Case, Signs Second Agreement with OIG.” The article reported that Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in Shreveport (LSUHSC-S) recently settled a dispute alleging it billed Medicare for surgery on behalf of physicians who were not present when residents performed the procedures.
LSUHSC-S agreed to pay more than $700,000 to resolve the False Claims Act allegations. The complaint was initiated by two employees-turned-whistleblowers who both plan to file another suit to collect lost wages, benefits, and damages for their damaged reputations.
Ken was quoted on the connection between this settlement and Physicians at Teaching Hospitals (PATH), the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) national enforcement project in the area of teaching physicians. While the goal of PATH was to target major offenders, Ken does not find it surprising that smaller offenders like LSUHSC-S are showing up with independent whistleblower cases. This is one of the several beneficial scenarios to taxpayers that the qui tam law was intended to capture. Ken also highlighted that many settlements are now originated with whistleblowers, instead of the DOJ or OIG like with PATH.