Government Intervenes in IPC False Claims Lawsuit

Posted: 12/10/2013  browse the blog archive

The government has intervened in a lawsuit against IPC The Hospitalist Co. Inc. (IPC), and its subsidiaries, under the False Claims Act, for submitting false claims to federal health care programs, the Justice Department announced yesterday. 

IPC, one of the largest providers of hospitalist services in the US, employs physicians and other health care providers who work in more than 1,300 facilities in 28 states.  Hospitalists are physicians who work only in hospitals and other long-term care facilities, overseeing and coordinating inpatient care from admission to discharge.

The lawsuit alleges that IPC physicians knowingly sought payment for higher and more expensive levels of medical services than were actually performed – a practice commonly referred to as “upcoding.”  Specifically, the lawsuit alleges that IPC encouraged its physicians to bill at the highest levels regardless of the services provided, trained physicians to use higher level codes and encouraged physicians with lower billing levels to “catch up” to their colleagues.

The lawsuit was originally filed by Dr. Bijan Oughatiyan, a former IPC physician, under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act.  The False Claims Act allows private parties with knowledge of fraud against the government to sue on behalf of the government and share in the recovery. Oughatiyan’s share of the settlement has not yet been determined.

The Chanler Group, in association with the Hirst Law Group, represents whistleblowers who take action under the False Claims Act to report fraud committed against the federal and state governments.  We have years of experience representing whistleblower clients who uncover fraud of every kind perpetrated against our government including, health care fraud, contract fraud, and tax fraud.  Read more about our expertise in False Claims Act cases and how you can take action.