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June 01, 2020

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Former Outpatient Service Company Charged $1.85 Million for Violating the False Claims Act, Defrauding Veterans

A Cincinnati-based outpatient health services company will pay $1.85 million to resolve allegations of the False Claims Act, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced today. The DOJ accused Sterling Medical Associates Inc. (Sterling) of submitting false claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) by failing to schedule veteran’s medical appointments at two clinics in Minnesota.

A contract awarded to Sterling by the VA in 2013 included requirements to schedule appointments within 14 days of the veteran’s requested appointment date. The DOJ alleged that, between July 2013 and April 2014, Sterling did not schedule patient appointments in compliance with these requirements and changed requested appointment dates to make wait times appear shorter.

“We expect companies doing business with the government to comply with their contractual obligations, particularly when they relate to the health of our veterans,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “The Department is committed to ensuring that our veterans receive the timely medical care that they need and deserve.”

Whistleblowers who report Medicare fraud under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act are eligible for monetary awards. If the United States decides to intervene in their case, whistleblowers can receive between 15% and 25% of the total recovery. If the government does not intervene in their case, the whistleblower can move forward with the assistance of a whistleblower attorney and receive an award of not less than 25% and not more than 30% of the recoveries made.

Read the DOJ Press Release: Former Operator of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinics Agrees to Pay $1.85 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations Concerning Veterans’ Wait Times

Ben Kostyack also contributed to this article.

Copyright Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, LLP 2020. All Rights Reserved.


About this Author

Mary Jane Wilmoth KKC  managing partner  whistleblower protection, environmental and nuclear industry whistleblowers, Qui Tam/False Claims whistleblowers.
Managing Partner

Mary Jane Wilmoth is the firm’s managing partner, and works closely with the partners at KKC, specializing in environmental and nuclear whistleblower protection, Qui Tam/False Claims litigation, and labor and employment law. She joined the firm in 1992, and works on cases and hearings that involve complex nuclear and environmental regulations. In her efforts to assure such safeguards are upheld in the American workplace, she has helped to strengthen whistleblower rights in licensing and enforcement proceedings with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. She has also defended whistleblowers at...