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Lawsuit claims oncologists defrauded Medicare

A whistle-blower lawsuit claims that Oncology and Hematology Associates of Southwest Virginia submitted false claims to the federal government.

The government has intervened in support of some of the allegations, but because most of the documents remain sealed it is not clear which allegations the government is pursuing. The whistle-blowers allegations includes charges that certain doctors were not present during the administration of chemotherapy and/or drugs as they were required to be under law; certain doctors committed fraud by instructing nurses to automatically draw blood and order lab tests that were billed to federal health care systems; and certain doctors would bill the federal government excessively for the services that were actually performed.

The suit contends that out of about $15 million per year the practice billed to federally funded programs, $6 million per year was fraudulent.

The Roanoke Times & World News (subscription required) reported on developments on May 18, 2005.

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