Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport (LSUHSC-Shreveport) has consented to pay a sizable amount to resolve charges that the hospital billed Medicare for medical services that teaching physicians did not actually provide.

For ten years, from 1995 to 2005, LSUHSC-Shreveport routinely submitted claims for reimbursement to Medicare Part B for services rendered by teaching physicians who claimed to have helped orthopedic residents during surgery. In reality, however, the teaching physicians were not even there. The hospital divided the spoils from the Medicare scam between the hospital and the teaching physicians.

The fraud was exposed when Susan Belgert Hodnett, the orthopedic head nurse, and William Overdyke, a former physician’s assistant from the orthopedic department, filed a lawsuit under the False Claims Act. That statute permits someone who witnesses fraud against the government—called a whistleblower—to file a claim on the government’s behalf and share in any recovery generated by the suit.

For the full story, go to the Shreveport Times.