Chicago-Area LifeWatch Services Settles Whistleblower Suits for $18.5 Million
LifeWatch Services, Inc., (“LifeWatch”) has agreed to settle two pending qui tam complaints for $18.5 million. The whistleblowers, Ryan Sims and Sara Collins, both former LifeWatch employees, alleged that LifeWatch improperly billed Medicare for ambulatory cardiac telemetry (“ACT”) services. ACT is a type of cardiac monitoring that uses mobile phone technology to record cardiac events in real time without any patient intervention. Traditional cardiac monitoring requires a patient to push a button when he or she notices a cardiac event. Traditional monitoring is reimbursable by Medicare at approximately $250, while ACT is reimbursed at between $750 and $1,200.
The whistleblower complaints alleged that LifeWatch submitted claims for ACT for patients who were not eligible for ACT because they had only experienced mild or moderate heart palpitations. The whistleblowers claimed that ACT used a false diagnostic code in order to have the ACT claims paid by Medicare. In addition, the complaints alleged that LifeWatch improperly induced hospitals and medical practices to order ACT monitoring services by LifeWatch for Medicare patients.
The whistleblowers will share in approximately $3.4 million of the settlement amount as their reward.
If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at Rabin Kammerer Johnson for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040.