Anesthesia Practice to Pay More Than $600K to Settle False Claims Act Allegations

by Andrew Murray | November 13th, 2019

The Department of Justice announced the settlement on October 10, 2019. The Press Release states:

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…Traverse Anesthesia Associates, P.C. (“TAA”), and six of its anesthesiologists, agreed to pay the United States $607,966 to resolve allegations, under the federal False Claims Act, that they falsely submitted certain anesthesia claims to Medicare. TAA is a medical professional corporation that provides anesthesiology and pain management services at a number of hospitals and outpatient sites in the Traverse City region. The United States specifically contended that, for certain claims billed as medically directed anesthesia services, TAA and its anesthesiologists did not meet the regulatory requirements and conditions of payment for billing those services as medically directed.

This case resulted from a civil lawsuit filed by two whistleblowers who previously worked as employees at TAA. The lawsuit, known as a qui tam action, was filed under the False Claims Act, which allows private whistleblowers to bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States and receive a share of any recoveries. In this case, the Government partially intervened in the whistleblowers’ lawsuit. The whistleblowers will collectively receive over $120,000 of the settlement proceeds. The qui tam case is docketed as United States, et al. ex rel. Stone, et al., v. Traverse Anesthesia Associates, P.C., et al., No. 1:18-cv-1416 (W.D. Mich.).

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The Government announced that the whistleblowers will receive $120,000 of the settlement (a 19.7% relators’ share).

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