Aetna accuses Mednax of destroying evidence in $50M overbilling suit

Aetna asked a Pennsylvania court to sanction Mednax for allegedly destroying evidence in a lawsuit that accuses the Sunrise, Fla.-based medical group of overbilling the health insurer, according to court documents and Law360.

In court filings, Aetna accused Mednax of deleting years' worth of emails related to the lawsuit. The lawsuit, filed in April 2018, accuses Mednax of exaggerating the severity of newborns' clinical conditions and ordering unnecessary tests to inflate bills, ultimately overbilling the insurer $50 million. The "upcoding" scheme allegedly began in 2009 and continued through at least September 2016. Mednax filed a motion to dismiss the case, but a judge denied that motion.

In court documents filed March 3, Mednax requested additional time to prepare its response to Aetna's accusations of evidence destruction, which the physician group was granted. Mednax has until March 29 to respond to Aetna's 30-page motion for sanctions, which was filed March 1 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. 

In an emailed statement to Becker's, a Mednax spokesperson said, "Mednax disputes the charges leveled in Aetna's motion and will soon be filing its response. The company has not destroyed or otherwise spoliated evidence in this case, which is itself without basis."

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