The Department of Justice announced that it intervened and reached a settlement in the Diagnostic Imaging Group Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuit in which Diagnostic Imaging Group has agreed to pay a total of $15.5 million to resolve allegations that its diagnostic testing facility falsely billed federal and state health care programs for tests that were not performed or not medically necessary and by paying kickbacks to physicians.
DIG operates a chain of diagnostic testing facilities through its subsidiary, Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services, which is headquartered in Hicksville, N.Y. DIG previously operated chains in New Jersey and Florida through subsidiaries Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services of New Jersey and Signet Diagnostic Imaging Services.
The cases related to the Diagnostic Imaging Group Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuit are captioned United States ex rel. Mark Novick, M.D. v. Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services P.C. , Civil Action No. 09-4992 (D.N.J.), United States ex rel. Rey Solano v. Diagnostic Imaging Group et al., Civil Action No. 10-267 (D.N.J.) and United States ex rel. Richard Steinman, M.D. v. Diagnostic Imaging Group, et al., Civil Action No. 10-4161 (E.D.N.Y.). The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.
The allegations of the Diagnostic Imaging Group Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuit allege that:
- Diagnostic Imaging Group (DIG) testing facility falsely billed federal and state health care programs for tests that were not performed or not medically necessary and by paying kickbacks to physicians
- DIG submitted claims to Medicare, as well as the New Jersey and New York Medicaid Programs, for 3D reconstructions of CT scans that were never performed or interpreted.
- DIG allegedly bundled certain tests on its order forms so that physicians could not order other tests without ordering the additional bundled tests, which were not medically necessary.
- DIG paid kickbacks to physicians for the referral of diagnostic tests.
- According to the government, the kickbacks were in the form of payments that DIG made to physicians ostensibly to supervise patients who underwent nuclear stress testing. These payments allegedly exceeded fair market value and were, in fact, intended to reward physicians for their referrals.
- Three lawsuits filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act
- In the Diagnostic Imaging Group Qui Tam whistleblower lawsuit, DIG has agreed to pay a total of $15.5 million to resolvethe allegations
- The three whistleblowers, Mark Novick, M.D., Rey Solano and Richard Steinman, M.D., will receive $ 1.5 million , $ 1.07 million and $ 209,250, respectively, as part of the settlement.
The False Claims Act (qui tam and whistleblower) also permits the government to investigate the allegations made in the relator’s complaint and to decide whether to intervene in the lawsuit, and to recover three times its damages plus civil penalties.
For more information on Qui Tam Whistleblower lawsuits, click here.
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