Delay in Return of Overpayments Leads to False Claims Act Suit

The generally accepted wisdom is to move expeditiously to investigate and return federal health care program overpayments once you become aware of them.  Now we know the potential downside of failing to do so even when all overpayments are eventually returned.

Late last month the United States Attorney’s Office filed a false claims act complaint in intervention against Continuum Health Partners.  The complaint seeks treble damages, civil penalties and costs.

Relevant facts:

  • From early 2009 to late 2010, due to a computer glitch, defendant submitted improper claims to Medicaid for additional payments for services
  • September 2010  New York state comptroller notified defendant of a small number of these claims improperly billed to and paid by Medicaid
  • February 2011 defendant became aware of much larger batch of improper claims totally over $1,000,000 that may have been submitted to and paid by Medicaid
  • Defendant repaid improper claims in dribs and drabs eventually repaying everything by March 2013 – 300 improper claims were repaid only after the Government issued a Civil Investigative Demand to defendant regarding payment of these claims in June 2012

“Continuum thus intentionally or recklessly failed to take the necessary steps to timely identify the claims affected by the software issue or to timely reimburse DOH for those affected claims that resulted in overbilling to Medicaid.”

For more information about this case or for assistance with reporting overpayments please contact Greg Montgomery.