Diagnostic Imaging Group, an outpatient imaging chain with 36 locations in New York and Florida, will pay $15.5 million to settle charges that its centers falsely billed federal and state health-care programs for tests either not performed or not necessary, and for paying kickbacks to physicians.
The IDTF chain, which operates 21 Doshi Diagnostics locations in the New York City area, will pay $13.65 million to the federal government, $12.4 million to the New York Medicare program, and $190,000 to New Jersey Medicaid. Three whistleblowers who initiated the charges will receive more than a combined $2.77 million.
The allegations against Doshi were raised in three lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. The whistleblowers, Mark Novick, MD, Rey Solano and Richard Steinman, MD, will receive $ 1.5 million, $ 1.07 million and $ 209,250 , respectively, as part of the settlement.
“Paying physicians for their referrals and submitting false claims to increase Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements—as was alleged in this case—simply cannot be tolerated,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, in a prepared statement. “Besides levying a hefty penalty, the settlement requires an independent organization to review Diagnostic Imaging Group’s claims for five years and to send reports to the government.”
Doshi Diagnostics, which began as a single location in Queens, New York, in 1985, has 21 locations in the greater New York City area. The company sold 16 Florida locations not cited in the action to Tristate Imaging Group, based in Jenkintown, PA, late last year, bringing Tristate's total to 48 imaging centers in four states.