The case involves two radiation oncologists, Dr. Gerald Lowrey and Dr. Rod Krentel, and the hospitals and clinics that provided the services: Sacred Heart Health System and the Medical Center Clinic. These providers allegedly violated the federal False Claims Act by submitting 6,450 fraudulent claims totaling $3.5 million between December 2007 and October 2011.
U.S. District Judge Roger Vinson ordered that a mediation conference be held by May 1, 2013, with the goal of bringing a "just, speedy, and inexpensive determination" to the complex case.
The potential damages from the suit could top $75 million, the article noted. Assistant U.S. attorney Ben Beard seeks to recoup triple the $3.5 million in alleged false claims, a penalty of as much as $10,000 for each of the claims, and attorney's fees.
Both hospitals have denied the allegations, and attorneys for all the defendants have filed motions to dismiss the case.