On December 20, the Department of Justice announced BioTelemetry Inc. and its subsidiary CardioNet LLC (collectively “BioTelemetry”) have agreed to pay $44,875,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act by “knowingly submitting claims to Medicare, TRICARE, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Federal Employee Health Benefits Program for heart monitoring tests that were performed, in part, outside the United States, and in many cases by technicians who were not qualified to perform such tests.”
CardioNet allegedly improperly billed for certain cardiac monitoring services — including Holter, event monitoring, and mobile cardiovascular telemetry tests — that were performed overseas. United States law prohibits payment for these services if furnished outside the country. From 2013 to 2018, BioTelemetry sent tests at its CardioNet division to 450 technicians in India. According to prosecutors, many of the technicians were not qualified to do the work, even if it had been legally exported. By 2015, technicians located in India reviewed over 47% of the electrocardiogram data reviewed in connection with MCT tests, and over 88% of the electrocardiogram data reviewed in connection with event monitoring tests for Medicare patients.
BioTelemetry did implement technological controls in late 2015 to prevent personnel in India from accessing the domestic workflow, but those controls were said to be insufficient, and technicians in India allegedly continued to review and analyze some electrocardiogram data for federal healthcare program beneficiaries thereafter.
Christopher Strasinski and Philip Leone, both former CardioNet employees, brought the claims against BioTelemetry under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. Under those provisions, a private party can file an action on behalf of the United States and receive a portion of any recovery. The whistleblowers will receive approximately $8.3 million from this settlement.
The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent clients of all types and sizes in connection with white-collar criminal investigations and False Claims Act litigation. If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.