NEW YORK, Feb. 25, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Seeger Weiss LLP today announced that the U.S. Department of Justice, the United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey, and the Medicaid Fraud Units of the Attorneys General of New York and New Jersey have reached a $15.5 million dollar settlement in a newly-unsealed healthcare fraud case against Doshi Diagnostic Imaging Services, P.C. and Diagnostic Imaging Group, LLC. Founded by radiologist Dr. Leena Doshi and her husband Nitin, Doshi Diagnostic Imaging and Diagnostic Imaging Group are privately-held companies that own and operate some 38 radiological imaging centers in New York, New Jersey and (formerly) Florida.
Seeger Weiss partner Eric H. Jaso represented one of the lead whistleblowers, or "relators," in the lawsuit, which was filed under seal in January 2010 in federal district court in New Jersey. The relator alleged that the Doshi companies systemically entered into "Service Agreements" with doctors who agreed to refer their patients to Doshi facilities for diagnostic tests. Because these "Service Agreements" paid the referring doctors based on the number of patients referred, the relator alleged that the Doshi companies had violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, the federal False Claims Act, and the False Claims Acts of New York and New Jersey, by billing Medicare and Medicaid for those diagnostic services.
"It's illegal for diagnostic labs to pay doctors for patient referrals because such payments can and do affect the doctors' independent professional judgment in deciding the best place for their patients to be tested," said Mr. Jaso. "Medicare and Medicaid will not pay taxpayer dollars for diagnostic tests when the patient was referred because of an illegal agreement. This settlement ensures that the Doshi companies will return to the government millions of dollars that they never should have received."
The relator's lawsuit triggered an investigation by the U.S. Department of Justice, the United States Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey, and the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, ultimately resulting in the settlement announced today. Under the whistleblower provisions of the federal and state False Claims Acts, the relator will receive an award of approximately $1 million.
Mr. Jaso praised Paul Fishman, the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles Graybow, and Department of Justice Trial Attorney Arthur Di Dio, for their successful prosecution and resolution of the case. Mr. Jaso was accompanied in the litigation by senior partner Stephen A. Weiss, who heads the firm's Qui Tam Practice Group.
Seeger Weiss LLP is one of the nation's leading trial law firms handling qui tam (whistleblower) claims, as well as complex individual, mass and class action litigation on behalf of consumers, investors and injured persons. The firm, with offices in New York, Philadelphia and New Jersey, represents plaintiffs in a variety of practice disciplines, including qui tam, pharmaceutical injury, securities and investment fraud, consumer protection, environmental and asbestos exposures, personal injury and medical malpractice, product defect, antitrust, and commercial disputes. For more information, go to www.seegerweiss.com