West Palm Beach Attorneys Announce Payment of $3.1 Million Settlement with South Florida Imaging Center in Medicare Qui Tam Action
WEST PALM BEACH, JULY 2011 – The law firms of Rabin Kammerer Johnson and Bruce E. Reinhart, P.A. announce the payment of a $3.1 Million qui tam settlement, including attorney’s fees, that they and Department of Justice attorneys reached with Midtown Imaging, LLC (“Midtown”) and its former owners for claims alleged by two radiologists (the “Relators”). Midtown owns several diagnostic imaging centers in Palm Beach County, Florida. The Relators worked for a radiology group that provided medical services to Midtown. The Relators filed their claims under the Federal False Claims Act (31 U.S.C. § 3729), known as the federal whistleblower statute.
On November 12, 2009, the Relators filed their qui tam action in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida (Case No. 09-82209). The complaint alleged that Midtown submitted false claims to Medicare between 2000 and 2008 by entering into certain leasing and professional services agreements with referring physicians and physician groups that violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other federally-funded programs. The Stark Law prohibits a medical center from profiting from patient referrals made by a physician with whom the center has an improper financial arrangement.
A copy of the settlement agreement may be found in the court file here. The Relators’share from the $3.1 million settlement is $700,000, inclusive of attorney’s fees.
In addressing the settlement, the Relators’ qui tam lawyer and co-counsel, Adam Rabin, said “We are very pleased with the settlement after several years of hard work and analysis of the complex referral schemes. We are happy that our firm was able to work so well with the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office in bringing this case to a favorable resolution.” The Relators’ qui tam attorney and co- counsel, Bruce Reinhart, added, “I believe my prior experience as a federal prosecutor was extremely valuable to our clients’ case. It expedited our review of the schemes, it helped us focus our presentation of the claims to the Department of Justice, and it facilitated our cooperation with them.”