Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart, P.C.
Lowey Dannenberg Whistleblower Awarded Portion of a $22,448,938 Medicaid False Claims Act Settlement - One of the largest Settlements in New York State History Involving Alleged False Medicaid Billing by a Home Health Care Company
White Plains, New York, July 10, 2015 (Newswire.com) -
In a major Medicaid false billing settlement, Lowey Dannenberg Cohen & Hart, P.C., working with the State of New York, acting through the New York State Office of the Attorney General, Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (“MFCU”), reached an agreement with defendants Trinity HomeCare, LLC (“Trinity”), Walgreens Infusion Services, Inc. (f/k/a Option Care, Inc.), Option Care of New York, Inc. and the Walgreen Co. to resolve a Medicaid whistleblower lawsuit pending in New York Federal Court. See United States et al. v. Trinity HomeCare, LLC, et al., 09-cv-3919 (S.D.N.Y.). The defendants agreed to pay $22,448,938.00 million to settle allegations of wrongdoing.
On April 20, 2009, the whistleblower - a pediatric physician working in one of NYC’s larger public hospitals serving Medicaid patients (in this instance, premature infants) – through her attorneys at Lowey Dannenberg – commenced a qui tam action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, alleging, among other things, that Trinity misappropriated her name and medical license number on prescriptions for Synagis (a very expensive prescription drug used to treat respiratory problems in premature infants) for infants she had never treated. Defendants then allegedly submitted false claims for payment to the Medicaid Program for these prescriptions of Synagis.
With the whistleblower’s claims, the MFCU opened an investigation ultimately reaching this settlement. In light of the whistleblower’s contribution, the State agreed to an 18% Relator Award from the settlement, representing in excess of $4 million. On July 7, 2015, Judge Richard J. Sullivan issued an order, granting 18% of the settlement amount as the relator’s share.
Barbara Hart, the CEO at Lowey Dannenberg, stated: “We are so proud that our client, who is a dedicated, hardworking pediatric physician serving struggling families and their babies, came forward with this significant evidence of Medicaid fraud. It is heartwarming to see a great reward for such and honest and unassuming person who did the right thing in the face of this scheme.”
Barbara Hart and Scott Papp prosecuted this case from its inception. For more information, you may contact Ms. Hart and Mr. Papp at Lowey Dannenberg.