New York radiology group Zwanger-Pesiri Radiology has agreed to pay just over $8 million in civil damages and $2.4 million in criminal restitution in connection with a qui tam lawsuit alleging that the company committed Medicare and Medicaid fraud between 2008 and 2014. The fraudulent acts include billing Medicare and Medicaid for radiology services that were performed unnecessarily and claiming that a Medicare and Medicaid enrolled provider performed procedures that were actually performed by different, unenrolled providers. New York’s attorney general, Eric Schneiderman, stated that the fraud cost the state of New York millions of dollars.
The whistleblowers in this qui tam case were Linda Gibb and Donna Geraci, who used to work for Zwanger-Pesiri and who attempted to get the company to address their fraud by complaining to supervisors when they initially discovered it. Unfortunately, their concerns went unheeded, and they were encouraged to make sure all claims got paid regardless of whether they were fraudulent or not. Because the fraud continued to be ignored and even encouraged, the two women decided to file their lawsuit under the False Claims Act on behalf of the government. Now, they have been vindicated, and the government will finally be able to recoup some of its losses.