The Whistleblower Institute announces that Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina LLC reached a $2 million settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit.
San Diego, CA -- (SBWIRE) -- 09/27/2017 -- The Whistleblower Institute announces that Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina LLC reached a $2 million settlement in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee over submitting and causing the submission of false claims to the Medicare and TRICARE programs.
Those who have a similar case or experienced a similar situation or any other wrongdoing within a corporation have certain options and should contact the Whistleblower Institute at email@example.com or call: 619-452–1218. There are no costs or obligations to you.
A settlement has been reached to resolve False Claims Act allegations against Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina LLC, Its Co-Owner, and Its Laboratory Director.
Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina LLC (FMC) will pay $1.56 million under the settlement, while its principal owner and former CEO Stephen Serbin and its former Laboratory Director Victoria Serbin have also agreed to pay $443,000.
The allegations arose from a lawsuit that claimed Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina LLC, Its Co-Owner, and Its Laboratory Director submitted and caused the submission of false claims to the Medicare and TRICARE programs.
According to the government, allegedly FMC, Dr. Serbin and Victoria Serbin were responsible for submitting false claims to Medicare and Tricare for medically unnecessary laboratory services. They allegedly created custom laboratory panels of diagnostic tests that aren't appropriate for routine measurement and performed the tests without an order from the treating physician. They allegedly implemented standing orders to make sure these tests were performed with specific frequency, and not because of clinical need. They allegedly programmed the FMC billing software to change certain billing codes for laboratory tests to ensure Medicare would pay.
Also, allegedly FMC submitted claims to Medicare that violated the physician self-referral prohibition, known as the Stark Law, which is intended to prevent a physician's medical judgment from being compromised by improper financial incentives. Allegedly, FMC's incentive compensation plan paid doctors a percentage of the value of laboratory and other diagnostic tests that these same doctors ordered through FMC. Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina then billed Medicare for the costs.
"Healthcare decisions should be made by physicians based on medical science and not with regard to maximizing the doctor's own income," said U.S. Attorney Beth Drake for the District of South Carolina. "Our goal in bringing this case was not only to recover money for improper healthcare claims, but also to deter similar conduct and promote health care affordability."
Reportedly, as part of the settlement, FMC and the Serbins have also agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG), which ensures the Serbins will have no management role in FMC for five years and obligates FMC to undertake other substantial internal compliance reforms, including hiring an independent review organization to conduct annual claims reviews.
The Whistleblower, Dr. Schaefer, formerly employed by FMC, will receive $340,510.
Based in Columbia, South Carolina, Family Medicine Centers of South Carolina specializes in Family Medicine.
The Whistleblower Institute is an information portal for current or former employees and other people having insight information about wrongdoing and other illegal activities by individuals either individually or within corporations, through company culture and or within international affairs. Whistleblowers should keep in mind that under the Dodd-Frank Act any person who provides the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") with original information that leads to a successful enforcement action with over $1 million recovered must be awarded between 10%-30% of the total amount recovered. In order to determine the total amount of the reward there are numerous factors that need to be considered. Whistleblower actions are complex and our goal is to guide any whistleblower every step of the way. The Whistleblower Institute is dedicated to partnering with any individual who have information about fraud and we work with many of the best law firms worldwide.
Those who have a similar case or experienced a similar situation or any other wrongdoing within a corporation have certain options and should contact the Whistleblower Institute.
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