Northeast urgent care chain to pay $2M to settle whistleblower case

CareWell Urgent Care, a chain of walk-in clinics in Massachusetts and Rhode Island, will pay $2 million to resolve allegations that it submitted false claims to government insurers, according to the U.S. Justice Department.

The Justice Department, Massachusetts and Rhode Island allege CareWell violated the False Claims Act by sending inflated and upcoded claims to Medicare, Massachusetts Medicaid, the Massachusetts Group Insurance Commission and Rhode Island Medicaid. 

They allege that between March 1, 2013, and August 31, 2018, CareWell inflated the level of evaluation and management services performed and failed to properly identify the providers of services.

The governments said CareWell "accomplished its fraud in several ways, including mandating that medical personnel examine and document at least 13 body systems during medical history inquiries, and at least nine body systems during physical examinations, even if patients' specific medical complaints or symptoms did not justify such a comprehensive inquiry or examination."

CareWell said the settlement came after the chain "fully cooperating with the inquiry," according to The Boston Globe.

"Our top priority at CareWell is to provide safe and high-quality medical care to our patients. We believe it is crucial to be thorough with each patient's examination in order to provide the best possible care," Carewelll spokesperson Maria Kucinski said.

CareWell's civil settlement resolves a whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former employee of CareWell.

 

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