CHICAGO (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced Feb. 6 that TeamHealth Holdings, a successor in interest to IPC Healthcare Inc., will pay $60 million to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act.
“This settlement reflects our ongoing commitment to ensure that health care providers appropriately bill government programs vital to patient health care,” said acting assistant attorney general Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
According to allegations, IPC systematically encouraged its employees to falsely bill Medicare, Medicaid, the Defense Health Agency and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. These employees would bill for a higher level of service than they actually performed on the patient. Alleged conduct of this nature, known as “up-coding,” violates the False Claims Act.
“Medical providers who fraudulently seek payments to which they are not entitled will be held accountable,” said U.S. attorney Zachary T. Fardon for the Northern District of Illinois. “False documentation of treatment is not just flawed patient care; it is illegal.”
The Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Branch, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois and HHS-OIG handled the case.