On October 30, the Department of Justice announced that it had entered into a settlement with Doctor Shoaib Quereshi and Doctor Imran Mirza owners of Memphis Primary Care Specialists, Lunceford Family Health Center, and Getwell Family Medicine related to claims brought by a False Claims Act whistleblower.
False Claims Act Suit For Medicare Billing Fraud
Michael Grace sued the physicians under the False Claims Act, which allows whistleblowers to sue companies for false claims made to the government and to share in any recovery. The lawsuit alleged that from 2015 to 2018, Doctor Qureshi, Doctor Mirza, and their clinics billed Medicare as though the physicians had provided services when nurse practitioners had treated the patients without the supervision required by Medicare’s rules. In addition, the suit alleged that the services were rendered by nurse practitioners when the physicians were out of the office, including times when they were traveling out of state. The Doctors claimed that they had performed the services in order to cheat the system, because Medicare pays higher rates for physician services as opposed to non-physician services.
“Falsely billing Medicare for services by absent physicians encourages fraud, waste, and abuse of taxpayer funds and can ultimately harm patients,” said D. Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. “Settlements like this achieve provider accountability, protect public funds, and safeguard the beneficiaries of federal health care programs.”
The False Claims Act provides that whistleblowers receive between 10% to 30% of the money the government recovers from the wrongdoer. In this case, Mr. Grace was awarded approximately $58,087 for stepping up and doing the right thing.
If You See Corporate Fraud, Talk to An Experienced Whistleblower Attorney
Whistleblowers like Mr. Grace are critical to our system of law enforcement and to stop corporate fraud. Our experienced whistleblower attorneys can help you navigate False Claims Act cases and other complex whistleblower laws.