CHICAGO — A suburban Chicago doctor and his surgical center will pay more than $750,000 to the United States to settle a civil lawsuit accusing them of submitting fraudulent claims to Medicare and a federal employee health program.
The suit in U.S. District Court in Chicago alleged that JOHN A. GREAGER, II and CANCER THERAPY ASSOCIATES, S.C. violated the False Claims Act by performing multiple mole removal procedures on patients on a single date but submitting or causing the submission of claims to Medicare and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP) that made it appear as though the procedures had been performed on multiple dates. Through this practice, known as “unbundling,” Greager and CTA caused Medicare and the FEHBP to pay more than they would have paid if the procedures had been billed as having occurred at the same visit.
As part of a settlement agreement approved this week by U.S. District Chief Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, Greager and CTA agreed to pay $757,879.90 to the United States. The settlement resolves a civil lawsuit filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. The Act permits private citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States for false claims, and to share in any recovery. The United States intervened in the lawsuit prior to the settlement.
The settlement was announced by Morris Pasqual, Acting United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Robert W. “Wes” Wheeler, Jr., Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Field Office of the FBI; Mario Pinto, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General; Irene Lindow, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General in Chicago; and Conrad J. Quarles, Deputy Assistant Inspector General for Investigations of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Office of the Inspector General. The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Virginia Hancock.
A separate criminal prosecution of Greager resulted in a 6-month prison sentence and a fine of $1 million.