Defense Contractor Settles Will Pay $940,000 to Settle Allegations that it Overcharged TRICARE

by Andrew Murray | October 1st, 2019

On August 29, 2019, the Department of Justice announced the settlement. The company allegedly negotiated for discounts with air ambulance providers but failed to pass the discounts on to TRICARE. The Press Release states:

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United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that International SOS Assistance, Inc., International SOS Government Services, Inc., International SOS, LP, Air Rescue Americas, Inc. Arnaud Vaissié; and Pascal Rey-Herme (collectively, “International SOS”), will pay $940,000 to resolve allegations that it overcharged TRICARE, a health care insurance system for members of the military services and their families, for aeromedical evacuation services by concealing discounts it received from third-party air ambulance providers in violation of the False Claims Act.

The settlement resolves allegations that, between 2013 and 2017, International SOS, a provider of overseas healthcare services for the government, submitted to TRICARE false claims for payment relating to International SOS’s provision of aeromedical evacuations.  International SOS negotiated discounts from third-party air ambulance providers, which it was required to pass along to TRICARE. Instead, International SOS did not disclose the actual cost of the aeromedical evacuation services during the quoting process; billed TRICARE at the higher non-discounted amount; and received payment from TRICARE for the inflated costs, which International SOS contends it retained as a fee.

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This settlement resolves allegations in a lawsuit by a former International SOS Regional Flight Desk Manager, under the qui tam (or whistleblower) provisions of the False Claims Act. The qui tam provisions permit private parties to sue for false claims on behalf of the government and to receive a share of any recovery. The relator here will receive $165,000 as his share of the recovery in the case. The relator was represented by Franklin J. Rooks, Jr., Esq. of Morgan Rooks, P.C., and Jared A. Jacobson, Esq. of Jared Jacobson Law, LLC.

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