DOJ intervenes in health care qui tam alleging false transportation costs

by admin | November 28th, 2011

On November 22, the Department of Justice announced that it was intervening in a suit brought in Texas by a qui tam whistleblower, alleging that a health care laboratory overcharged the government for transporting samples. According to DOJ’s press release:

The United States filed a complaint against BestCare Laboratories, Inc. and its founder and principal, Karim A. Maghareh, in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the Justice Department announced today. The suit alleges that the defendants knowingly misrepresented the distances traveled by its lab technicians to artificially increase reimbursement from Medicare for mileage-based technician travel allowance fees.

According to the complaint, BestCare transported laboratory test specimens as air cargo from nursing home customers located in the Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, El Paso, San Antonio and Waco areas to BestCare’s laboratory close to Houston, but claimed mileage for ground travel as though its technicians personally drove the specimens one-way or round-trip between those cities and its lab in Houston. The complaint also alleges that Mr. Maghareh supervised BestCare’s day-to-day operations and directed or authorized the false billing. BestCare is a clinical laboratory founded in 2002.

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