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Fraudulent Medicare “Turbocharging” Suit Goes Forward

May 12, 2009

Federal District Judge Joseph A. Greenway, Jr. denied a hospital’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit alleging fraudulent “turbocharging” of Medicare. According to the Court’s Order, “turbocharging” is a fraudulent scheme of rapidly increasing billed charges for providing medical care “far in excess of any increase in the costs associated with that care in order to obtain increased ‘outlier’ payments.” The federal lawsuit is based upon a Complaint filed in New Jersey against Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton by three separate whistleblowers under the False Claims Act. Judge Greenway rejected the hospital’s contention that the lawsuits failed to state a claim or to adequately and particularly plead a fraudulent scheme, stating:

“Based on the allegations within the Complaint, the Government has pled facts which demonstrate non-disclosure and intentional misrepresentation, which are the hallmarks of “fraud.” According to the facts alleged in the Complaint, Defendant intentionally filed claim statements based on charges that were unrelated to costs, in violation of the applicable Medicare statutes and regulations, and did not disclose to the Government that it had drastically increased its charges, which might lead to payments that were at odds with the clear intent and purpose of the outlier program.”

To report Medicare “Turbocharging” fraud, contact Frohsin & Barger.

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