FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JULY 1, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
JUSTICE DEPARTMENT INTERVENES IN MEDICARE
CASE AGAINST TWO CLEVELAND HOSPITALS
WASHINGTON, D.C. - The government has intervened and filed a complaint in a suit alleging that two Cleveland, Ohio hospitals mischarged the Medicare program, the Justice Department announced today. The suit alleges that between 1990 and 1995, Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals of Cleveland improperly charged Medicare for millions of dollars worth of procedures involving experimental cardiac devices that were not properly reimbursable.
The qui tam or whistleblower lawsuit was originally filed by Kevin Cosens, a former medical device salesman, against a number of hospitals around the country. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can file suit on behalf of the government and share in any recovery.
By intervening, the government has joined Mr. Cosens in alleging that the two Cleveland hospitals improperly sought and received millions of dollars in Medicare reimbursement for these experimental procedures. The government intervened in this case in June 2002, but the case remained under seal until recently. The government has also intervened against 38 other hospitals in related cases that, with the Cleveland case, have now been consolidated for pre-trial purposes in Multidistrict Litigation in Connecticut. The government has also entered into settlements with thirty-four other hospital defendants, recovering a total of over $45 million.
The case will be litigated jointly by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Offices in the Northern District of Ohio and the District of Connecticut.