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The United States Department of Justice intervened today in a whistleblower lawsuit against IPC The Hospitalist Company, Inc., a national hospitalist company that employs approximately 2,000 physicians who work in hospitals in 28  states. The lawsuit, filed by Goldberg Kohn, Ltd., alleges that IPC has, for years, intentionally and systematically overbilled Medicare and other government health care programs for services provided by its physician employees.

Goldberg Kohn filed the lawsuit on behalf of Dr. Bijan Oughatiyan, a former  IPC employee, under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False  Claims Act, which encourages private citizens to report fraud against the government by allowing them to sue on behalf of the government and receive a  share of any recovery. The False Claims Act also allows the government to join and prosecute such lawsuits, as the Department of Justice has elected to do in this case.