San Fernando Valley Doctor Resolves Lawsuit That Alleged Fraudulent And Improper Pain Management Billing Practices
SANTA ANA, California – A doctor who operates a pain management clinic in Valencia has agreed to pay $1.2 million to resolve allegations that he submitted fraudulent bills and received improper payments from federal and state health insurance programs.
In a case partially unsealed today, Dr. Narinder S. Grewal, of Chatsworth, and his pain clinic, the Santa Clarita Surgery Center for Advanced Pain Management agreed to pay $1,087,176 to the United States and $112,823 to the State of California.
The settlement concludes a federal “whistleblower” lawsuit filed by a billing agent, who used to provide billing and collection services to the Grewal’s clinic.
The lawsuit alleged that Grewal and his clinic obtained improper reimbursements from government-run health insurance programs, including Medicare, Medi-Cal and Tricare, a federal health insurance program for military and related military personnel. The lawsuit alleged that Grewal and his clinic submitted fraudulent claims by “upcoding” medical services, which means that he allegedly submitted bills that were not justified by the services that were actually provided.
The settlement was announced today after United States District Judge Andrew J. Guilford unsealed the lawsuit. The parties have asked the court to dismiss the suit, which was filed pursuant to federal and state False Claims Acts.
The whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Acts permit a private person to sue on behalf of the United States and California, and to share in the proceeds of the suit. As a result of the settlement announced today, the billing agent will receive a total of $204,000.
The case was handled by the United States Attorney’s Office and the California Attorney General’s Office, in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General, and the Department of Defense, Defense Criminal Investigative Service.