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How a Civil War law forced a local medical group to pay $5.3M

Highland woman sued Hudson Valley Hematology Oncology Associates under the False Claims Act

John Ferro | Poughkeepsie Journal

In 1863, at the height of the Civil War, Congress passed legislation to ensure suppliers to the Union Army were not cheating the government.

More than 150 years later, that legislation — the False Claims Act — and its amended derivatives enabled a local worker to challenge the billing practices of her former employer, Hudson Valley Hematology Oncology Associates, resulting in a $5.3 million settlement announced Friday by Preet Bharara, U.S. Attorney for New York’s Southern District.

The medical practice, which treats cancer and blood disorders and has offices in Poughkeepsie and Fishkill, admitted it illegally waived Medicare co-pays for patients and then added those amounts to its bills to the taxpayer-funded health insurance program.

It also admitted it entered billing codes indicating doctors had overseen or administered a procedure, when only a nurse had done so, thereby inflating the bills to Medicare and Medicaid.

Source: https://www.poughkeepsiejournal.com/story/news/local/2016/10/24/false-claims-act-fraud-medicare/92519838/

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