MedQuist medical transcription whistleblower case settles for $6.6 million

by Kurt Schulzke

The U.S. Department of Justice announced, December 3, that MedQuist, Inc. has settled two False Claims Act suits, responding to allegations of over-billing for transcription services performed between between 1998 and 2004.  False Claims Act cases often cover six years of activity because the False Claims Act statute of limitations generally extends six years from a defendant’s filing of a false claim for payment:

From 1998 onward, MedQuist provided medical transcription services to several federal government clients, including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Public Health Service (PHS), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The government alleged that, from approximately 1998 through 2004, the Mount Laurel, N.J., company knowingly overbilled VA, DOD and PHS for medical transcription services. Certain federal contracts called for MedQuist to bill according to a transcription industry billing standard called the “AAMT line.” Other contracts at issue imposed slightly different billing standards. . .

The settlement resolves in whole or in part allegations made in two qui tam actions . . . Under the settlement, relator Christopher Foley will receive $450,000 and relator Susan Purdue will receive $144,000.

The amount of recovery received by the relators in a qui tam or False Claims Act case depends on both the gross amount of harm suffered by the government and on the number of false claims submitted.  More information about the False Claims Act is provided by this site’s Fraud Primer.

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