COLUMBUS — An administrator of a Georgia medical center has filed a federal whistle-blower lawsuit claiming the facility has been overbilling government insurers.
The Columbus Ledger-Enquirer reported Saturday that administrative director of the John B. Amos Cancer Center, Richard Barker, alleges physicians systematically overbilled Medicare, Medicaid, the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program and others to acquire millions in fees. Barker filed the lawsuit under the Federal False Claims Act in May of 2012.
Defendants include the Columbus Regional Healthcare System, The Medical Center, the John B. Amos Cancer Center and Regional Oncology, LLC.
An attorney for Columbus Regional declined to discuss the allegations. Columbus Regional CEO Charles Stark says the organization, which runs The Medical Center, the Amos center and others, is evaluating its potential liability.
The suit claims that physicians at the John B. Amos Cancer Center, who are salaried for their first three years, are paid by the number of “Revenue Value Units” they produce after that.
The suit claims the physicians billed for office visits that were not included in medical records and filed bills for services, including chemotherapy, they’d already been reimbursed for.
Barker’s Maryland-based attorney, Jamie Bennett of the Ashcraft & Gerel law firm, said the financial impact could reach more than $100 million
The lawsuit also claims that the $10.5 million Columbus Regional paid to buy the Tidwell Cancer Treatment Center in 2010 was an overpayment that was made with the intention of securing additional referrals to the medical center.