March 30, 2016

30 March 2016

Professional Medical Society Files Qui Tam Against Physicians, Anesthesia Service Providers, and Surgery Centers

In what may be a first-of-its-kind suit, a professional medical association has filed a qui tam against physicians and other medical providers for allegedly engaging in a kickback scheme designed to divert referrals from the association’s members.  The complaint, filed by the Florida Society of Anesthesiologists, alleges that the defendants—a number of physicians, anesthesiology companies, and ambulatory surgical centers (“ASCs”)—violated the federal False Claims Act and the Florida False Claims Act by defrauding the Medicare and Medicaid programs.[1]   Citing the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General Advisory Opinion Number 12-06, the complaint and alleges that defendant anesthesiology companies and their physician owners, many of whom were gastroenterologists, allegedly paid kickbacks in the form of shared profits to ASCs that referred business to the anesthesiology companies and that were owned by the same physicians.