An Oregon-based health care group allegedly fired and then blacklisted its former CEO in retaliation for his reporting of improper payments and referrals under the False Claims Act and Stark Law, according to a recently filed complaint. The claimant alleges in his lawsuit that Umpqua Medical Group made $10 million in Medicare payments to doctors based upon their prescriptions of specific drugs or performance of certain procedures. The plaintiff asserts he was thenfired from his position as CEO of Architrave Health LLC, for which Umpqua is a subsidiary. Moreover, the ex-CEO asserts that Architrave took steps to block him from securing employment elsewhere.
As a whistleblower, the plaintiff is entitled to protection under both statutes allegedly violated by Umpqua. The False Claims Act allows private citizens to alert officials to improper claims for payment from the government. Such claims can include those for Medicare, billing for government-contracted work that was not performed, and off-label marketing of prescription drugs, among others. When the government prevails in a False Claims Act case, the citizen who initiated the action is entitled to 15 to 30% of any settlement or judgment funds which are ultimately recovered.
Philadelphia health care lawyers note that the Stark Law offers a similar award. Under the statute, a provision of the Social Security Act, designated health services (DHS) for Medicare and Medicaid patients cannot be ordered by a physician who stands to benefit financially from those services being administered. The Stark Law also extends to the immediate family members of an ordering physician. Accordingly, a physician cannot refer a patient for services provided by the physician’s relatives.
In addition to recovering a portion of any judgment that ensues from the case against Umpqua, the plaintiff in this case seeks reinstatement to his position as CEO at Architrave, as well as requesting punitive damages and back pay.
Philadelphia Health Care Lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates Assist with False Claims Act and Stark Law Cases
When bringing allegations of health care fraud to light, whistleblowers should seek legal representation. For over 35 years, the Philadelphia physician employment lawyers at Sidney L. Gold & Associates have provided physicians and others in the medical profession high quality counsel. We will work tirelessly to protect your standing and reputation in court. Call 215-569-1999 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation in our Philadelphia offices, where we serve clients throughout Southeast Pennsylvania, as well as New Jersey and New York.