Tampa, Fla.-based Physician Partners of America will pay $24.5 million to settle several allegations, including that it violated the False Claims Act and made a false statement to obtain a loan through the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.
Four whistleblower lawsuits were filed against the healthcare practice management company the U.S. Justice Department said April 12.
The first whistleblower complaint was filed in 2018, alleging the pain management clinics engaged in Medicare billing fraud and paid kickbacks to physicians for referrals.
Physician Partners of America is accused of requiring its staff to order the most expensive urine drug tests for every patient, regardless of whether they were medically necessary. The organization allegedly benefited greatly financially because it sent the tests to the two clinical labs it owes.
Physician Partners incentivized its physician employees to order the additional tests by paying them 40 percent of the profits, a violation of Stark Law,the Justice Department said.