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ASC, practice fraud whistleblowers got $107K-$1M+ in the last 2 years: 4 cases

When whistleblowers file lawsuits, they stand to receive a portion of the proceeds from a settlement or financial recovery, which can reach hundreds of thousands of dollars.

A look at the settlements whistleblowers landed in four cases involving ASCs and physician practices in the last two years:

1. Scott Thompson, a former Deerfield, Ill.-based Surgical Care Affiliates employee, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the company and its affiliate, Orlando Center for Outpatient Surgery, alleging billing fraud for lithotripsy. The allegations were settled June 28, and the parties paid $3.4 million, of which Mr. Thompson received $748,000. The estate of the urologist named in the suit entered into a separate settlement in January for $1.75 million, of which Mr. Thompson received $385,000.

2. Steven Pringle, a former sales operation employee of Mubashar Choudry, MD, and his three practices, filed a whistleblower lawsuit alleging the cardiologist paid kickbacks to referring physicians for ankle-brachial index testing from 2013 to 2016. In April, the case was settled for $750,000 and Mr. Pringle received $121,500.

3. Atul Jain, MD, a former partner of San Diego Retinal Associates, filed a whistleblower lawsuit against his two partners alleging the ophthalmologists billed Medicare for services provided by an uncredentialed physician. The case was settled in January 2020 for $950,000, and Dr. Jain received $170,778.18.

4. Jeffrey Neuberger, former CEO of Mid Dakota Clinic in Bismarck, N.D., filed a whistleblower lawsuit against the clinic in 2017, alleging an improper financial arrangement with its ASC. He alleged the clinic's physicians influenced ASC referrals. The clinic settled allegations for $4.15 million in November 2019, and Mr. Neuberger received 25 percent of the recovery, around $1.1 million, plus $1.3 million in attorney's fees.

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