$1.2 Million Settlement With Durable Medical Equipment Company, International Rehabilitative Sciences D/B/A RS Medical Resolves South Carolina False Claims Act Lawsuit
Contact Person: Jennifer Aldrich (803) 929-3000
Columbia, South Carolina -----United States Attorney Bill Nettles announced that the government has reached a settlement with RS Medical for $1,214,665.00 to resolve claims that employees of RS Medical in South Carolina and Illinois submitted claims to Medicare for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) Units, conductive garments for TENS Units, back braces, cervical traction systems, muscle stimulators, and custom-fit knee braces (collectively “the durable medical equipment”) that (1) lacked physician orders; (2) lacked the required supporting documentation; and/or (3) lacked medical necessity.
The investigation in District of South Carolina began in February of 2011 when whistleblower Sally Balentine filed a qui tam lawsuit in federal court under the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act allows the government to bring civil actions against entities that knowingly use or cause the use of false documents to obtain money from the government or to conceal an obligation to pay money to the government. The lawsuit in this case was initially filed by Sally Balentine, an employee of RS Medical under the qui tam or whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. This provision entitles a private person to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the United States, where the private person has information that the named defendant has knowingly violated the False Claims Act. Under the False Claims Act, the private person, also known as a “whistleblower,” is entitled to a share of the government's recovery. In this matter, the whistleblower will receive over $242,933 from the proceeds of the settlement. Additionally, she will receive $80,000 for her attorney fees and costs.
"Whistleblowers play a key role in protecting funds designated to Medicare from fraud and abuse," said U.S. Attorney Nettles. "Our office has more than doubled the resources devoted to working these fraud and abuse cases and will continue to consider fraud against the government a high priority."
This settlement was the result of a coordinated effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of South Carolina and agents from Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, and United States Postal Service Office of Inspector General, Major Fraud Investigations Division.
If you suspect Medicare or Medicaid fraud please report it by phone at 1-800-447-8477 (1-800-HHS-TIPS), or E-Mail at HHSTips@oig.hhs.gov.