The nation’s largest physician house-call group is being investigated by federal authorities in Ohio on suspicion of defrauding Medicare.

A criminal inquiry is proceeding and federal prosecutors have moved to shut down a private whistleblower lawsuit that also alleges Medicare fraud. The prosecutors claim that the whistleblower suit could interfere with their criminal investigation.

The whistleblower suit, brought under the qui tam provisions of the federal False Claims Act, accuses the company of “upcoding” in order to inflate reimbursement amounts.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer reported on developments in its August 13, 2005 issue.

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