ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) -- Mayo Clinic and three related entities agreed Thursday to pay $1.26 million to settle a federal lawsuit that alleged false claims for payment to the government.
The lawsuit alleged that the claims for payment included surgical pathology services Mayo did not provide. The suit was brought in 2007 under provisions of the False Claims Act. It focused on Mayo's billing practices at its pathology labs in Rochester.
Mayo allegedly billed Medicare, Medicaid and other federal health care programs for the preparation and examination of permanent human tissues slides Mayo never made or examined.
"Billing government health programs for services never rendered—as Mayo allegedly did—is totally unacceptable," said Lamont Pugh, III, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General for the Chicago Region, which includes Minnesota. "OIG will continue working with our law enforcement partners as well as private parties to investigate these cases and ensure the recovery of precious taxpayer dollars."
The clinic paid $260,000 to the government after it was subpoenaed regarding the surgical pathology billing. The settlement announced Thursday includes those funds and Mayo agreed to pay an addition $1 million.
The payment is required within seven business days and, once received, the federal government will pay $229,822 to whistleblowers who participated in the action. Mayo will also pay their attorney fees and legal expenses.
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