A hospital-staffing corporation will pay $60 million to resolve allegations it submitted fraudulent bills to Medicare, Medicaid and other government health-care programs, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday. Dr. Bijan Oughatiyan, who blew the whistle on IPC Healthcare Inc.’s purported wrongdoing, will receive about $11.4 million of the recovery.
IPC, a company based in North Hollywood, Calif., provides physicians to work in hospitals. IPC employs about 2,500 of these physicians, called hospitalists, in Illinois and 27 other states. Oughatiyan worked for IPC from 2003 to November 2008.
In a lawsuit filed in federal court in Chicago in 2009, he accused IPC of violating the False Claims Act by “upcoding,” or billing for higher and more expensive levels of medical services than it actually provided. In addition to Medicaid and Medicare, he maintained, programs that paid fraudulent billings included the Defense Health Agency and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.