A Mobile, Ala., doctor has settled a whistleblower retaliation lawsuit. In 2011, Dr. Christian Heesch filed the lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act, alleging that Diagnostic Physicians Group improperly compensated doctors based on tests they ordered from Infirmary Health Inc. Specifically, Dr. Heesch alleged that doctors employed by Diagnostic Physicians Group received bonuses based on the number of tests and procedures that they referred to Infirmary Health’s clinics. These bonuses were said to have constituted improper financial compensation in violation of the anti-kickback provision of the Stark Act, which is designed to prevent excess payments from Medicare, Medicaid and other government health programs.
Infirmary Health, two affiliated clinics and Diagnostic Physicians Group settled the False Claims Act claims and will pay the government $24.5 million. As the whistleblower, Dr. Heesch was entitled to receive $4.41 million of that settlement under the False Claims Act. In addition to being compensated for informing the government of fraud committed against it, the False Claims Act also protects whistleblowers from retaliation, harassment or discrimination.
Dr. Heesch alleged that Diagnostic Physicians Group terminated him in 2011 because he began asking questing about potential government fraud and requesting documents related to doctors’ compensation. Recently, Dr. Heesch and Diagnostic Physicians Group reached a settlement on the retaliation claims for an undisclosed amount. Chris Coumanis, a lawyer with Coumanis and York, located in Daphne, Ala., represented Dr. Heesch in this litigation and he did a very good job.
Contact us today for a free legal consultation with an experienced attorney.
Fields marked *may be required for submission.
If you would like to subscribe to the Jere Beasley Report digital edition, simply visit our Subscriptions page and provide the necessary information or call us at 800-898-2034.
Attorney Advertising - Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.