Skyline Urology to Pay $1.85M to Settle False Claims; Whistleblower to Get $324K

Posted: 03/09/2019  browse the blog archive
Skyline Urology to Pay $1.85M to Settle False Claims; Whistleblower to Get $324K

Skyline Urology has agreed to pay the United States $1.85 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting improper claims to the Medicare program for evaluation and management services, the Department of Justice announced last month.

Skyline Urology allegedly submitted false claims to the Medicare program for evaluation and management (E&M) services that were not allowable under Medicare.  Medicare generally prohibits healthcare providers from separately billing for E&M services provided on the same day as another medical procedure, unless the E&M services are significant, separately identifiable, and above and beyond the usual preoperative and postoperative care associated with the medical procedure.  If an E&M service satisfies these criteria, the provider can use a billing code known as “Modifier 25” to bill for the significant and separately identifiable E&M services.  In this case, the government alleged that Skyline Urology used Modifier 25 to improperly unbundle routine E&M services that were not separately billable from other procedures performed on the same day, and, as a result, improperly claimed compensation from Medicare for certain urological services.

Skyline Urology has also entered into an Integrity Agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General that will require regular monitoring of its billing practices for three years. 

The settlement resolves allegations in a lawsuit filed in the District of Maryland by James M. Cesare, the founder of the consulting firm Bay Area Healthcare Advisors LLC.  The lawsuit was filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private individuals to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and to share in any recovery.  As part of the resolution, Mr. Cesare will receive approximately $323,750.

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 expose every kind of fraud against the 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.