Pietragallo and Government Win Settlement in Medicaid Fraud Case; Continue to Pursue Remaining Allegations

The Center for Diagnostic Imaging (“CDI”), one of the nation’s largest providers of diagnostic imaging services for doctors and hospitals, recently agreed to pay at least $1.2 million to settle an allegation of Medicaid billing fraud. CDI’s decision to settle followed on the heels of the federal government’s announcement last week that it intended to intervene and pursue the billing fraud issue on behalf of whistleblowers Dr. Alexander Serra and Patricia West, who originally filed suit against CDI. Dr. Serra and Ms. West alleged in their suit that CDI defrauded Medicaid by “upcoding” certain procedures to obtain larger reimbursements. Along with the billing fraud claim, Dr. Serra and Ms. West also alleged that CDI provided illegal kickbacks to doctors for referrals, defrauded Medicare by not requiring written orders for some examinations, conspired to defraud the health care system, and fired Ms. West in retaliation for her repeated complaints about CDI’s billing practices. The whistleblowers contend the proposed settlement amount is inadequate to account for these claims, which remain active and which will be pursued in court. The government will continue to monitor the remaining allegations in the lawsuit even after finalizing the settlement of the billing fraud claim.

For more information see: http://www.theolympian.com/2010/08/07/1329124/imaging-center-settles-medicaid.html

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