Aug 29, 2013 10:06 AM EDT
Emory University Agrees to pay $1.5 million To Settle Medicare and Medicaid Lawsuit
Emory University has agreed to pay $1.5 million to resolve a Georgia federal whistleblower suit that alleges its Winship Cancer Institute of falsely billing Medicare and Medicaid for cancer clinical trial services that are not permitted under the rules of the program.
Federal prosecutors state that the university breached the False Claims Act by improperly billing the federal programs for services the clinical trial sponsor had already paid or had agreed to pay. The University was paid extra for the same care and services.
"This settlement demonstrates our office's continued commitment to protect crucial Medicare and Medicaid dollars," said Sally Quillian Yates, U.S. Attorney. "Treatment of cancer is expensive, and Medicare and Medicaid dollars should be reserved for patients who need services that properly may be billed to these programs."
The university allegations surfaced through a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Elizabeth Elliot, a former research finance manager at the university, under the federal False Claims Act. Elliot will be receiving nearly $322,500 of the settlement, plus $11,250 for wrongful termination claims. About $70,000 of the settlement will be given to Georgia.
The federal False Claims Act allows private citizens to file actions on behalf of the United States and receive share in any settlement.
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