New technology to treat varicose veins has spurred a tremendous growth in vein clinics over the past decade to cure the elderly and others afflicted by this medical condition of the circulatory system. While there are many legitimate providers of venous insufficiency treatment, there have also been several that have engaged in Medicare fraud. If you have evidence of another vein clinic engaged in fraud, you may be entitled to a reward for reporting it to the U.S. Government through the False Claims Act.
Medicare fraud costs U.S. taxpayers billions every year. Our whistleblower attorneys help individuals (doctors, nurses, office managers, patients, etc.) report health care fraud including fraud by vein clinics. We offer confidential, no cost initial consultations to evaluate your evidence of fraud for a potential False Claims Act lawsuit. To speak to one of our whistleblower attorneys, please call 1-800-590-4116.
About Varicose Vein Treatment and Medicare coverage
Varicose veins happen as a result of improper circulation of the legs and other appendages which cause skin damage. They occur on approximately fifty percent of the population. It is treated by one of a few different procedures, including excision/ligation (removal or tying off the affected veins), sclerotherapy (injections of an irritant solution), radio frequency ablation and endovenous laser ablation.
Varicose veins are typically found in the elderly. This makes it an issue that is often paid for by the U.S. Government through the Medicare program. Medicare has detailed coverage conditions for the treatment of varicose veins. Procedures may be considered unnecessary where the veins are asymptomatic, where the condition is merely cosmetic, and where conservative therapy (exercise, elevation of the legs, analgesic therapy or avoidance of prolonged immobility) have not been attempted.
What is Vein Clinic Fraud?
When providers intentionally or recklessly bill Medicare for inappropriate treatments of varicose veins in patients, they have violated the False Claims Act. The False Claims Act is the nation’s leading law in the fight against fraud and has been used to recover billions of dollars claimed by health care providers fraudulently.
Here are a few different ways in which a vein clinic might be committing fraud against Medicare or Medicaid:
– Performing procedures by unqualified personnel while the physician is out of the office.
– Unnecessary vein injections (sclerotherapy) for the treatment of varicose veins and spider veins.
– Unnecessary ultrasound imaging procedures as part of vein treatment.
– Upcoding treatments to receive more money than Medicare the the Government would pay if the procedure was billed to them as performed.
– Marketing of devices that are not FDA approved or cleared to treat varicose veins.
Why Report Vein Clinic Fraud?
Health care fraud has been a substantial problem in the United States over the last decade. The problem has cost Medicare billions of dollars and run the gamut from large scale drug pricing frauds to smaller enterprises, such as vein clinics, bilking the U.S. Government for dollars. This is bad for everyone – it is costly and patient care suffers. A large percentage of the population is afflicted with varicose veins or spider veins. If providers recklessly or intentionally bill the federal government for procedures not performed or upcode treatments to receive more money than is owed by proper billing, it ends up costing all taxpayers in the end.
The False Claims Act
The False Claims Act imposes substantial penalties on doctors, hospitals and other health care companies engaged in fraud while rewarding whistleblowers for providing evidence of the misconduct to the Justice Department through a qui tam lawsuit.
Our Federal False Claims Act lawyers have guided whistleblower cases to several significant settlements on behalf of relators. Our largest unsealed cases are currently focused on kickbacks in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, but we have a broad base of experience across other types of Medicaid and Medicare fraud. In the pursuit of suspected frauds, we have brought cases to the attention of the government in many states, including New York, Florida, California and here in Philadelphia. In 2016, for example, we helped the federal and state governments recover $54 million from a Valeant subsidiary for kickbacks paid through speaker programs.
The law rewards whistleblowers for information with between 15 and 30 percent of the proceeds from the litigation, subject to numerous terms and conditions specified in the law. During President Obama's Administration, the U.S. paid out more than $4 billion to whistleblowers. For those not familiar with whistleblower cases, we have written a quick guide to the process.
Our False Claims Act attorneys undertake a thorough review of whistleblower evidence up front during the case evaluation process. We confirm that there is sufficient evidence of both inappropriate government billings as well as evidence of intentional or reckless conduct by the individuals in charge. We understand that no one person needs to have every piece of the puzzle and we have evaluated thousands of potential cases while honing our judgment. We also answer any questions that a whistleblower has in order to ensure that you can make an informed judgment about whether to proceed with a qui tam lawsuit.
To begin the process and get your questions answered, use our contact form or call 1-800-590-4116 for a free, confidential and no-obligation initial legal consultation from our whistleblower attorneys.