MedQuist pays $6.6 million to resolve false claims allegations

By staff writers

December 3, 2008 -- Speech recognition and transcription technology provider MedQuist of Mount Laurel, NJ, has paid $6.6 million to resolve allegations under the False Claims Act that it overbilled U.S. government clients, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.

Since 1998, MedQuist has provided medical transcription services to several U.S. government clients, including the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Public Health Service (PHS), part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

The U.S. government alleged that, from about 1998 to 2004, MedQuist knowingly overbilled VA, DOD, and PHS for medical transcription services. Certain federal contracts called for MedQuist to bill according to a transcription industry billing standard called the "AAMT line," while other contracts imposed slightly different standards.

The settlement resolves in whole or in part allegations made in two qui tam actions, by which the False Claims Act permits private citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the U.S. Under the settlement, relator Christopher Foley will receive $450,000 and relator Susan Purdue will receive $144,000, according to the Justice Department.

MedQuist "has not admitted nor or will it admit to liability or any wrongdoing in connection with the settlement," according to a statement by the company.

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Copyright © 2008

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