Oklahoma hospital, ex-COO and physicians settle false billing case

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Norman (Okla.) Regional Health System, its former COO and six radiologists have agreed to pay the federal government $1.6 million to settle allegations they engaged in a fraudulent billing scheme, according to the Department of Justice.

The government alleged that from Jan. 1, 2008, through Sept. 30, 2016, Norman Regional Health System, which includes 219-bed Norman Regional Hospital, submitted false claims to Medicare for services performed by radiology practitioner assistants without proper supervision by a physician.

The allegations against Norman Regional, its former COO Greg Terrell and the six radiologists were originally brought under the qui tam, or whistle-blower, provision of the False Claims Act by Lance Garber, MD, a radiologist who formerly worked at the hospital.

Dr. Garber filed his suit in 2014, and it was unsealed in January. He alleged Mr. Terrell knew radiology practitioner assistants at Norman Regional were not receiving proper physician supervision as early as 2008 but failed to prevent or correct the fraudulent bills from being submitted.

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