Medical College of Wisconsin pays $840,000 to settle alleged illegal billing

Special to The Freeman

Jan. 9, 2015

 WAUWATOSA — The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced Friday that the Medical College of Wisconsin, Inc. has paid the federal government the amount of $840,000 to settle allegations that it knowingly billed federal health care programs for neurosurgeries involving residents who did not receive the required level of supervision from teaching physicians.

The announcement Friday was made by U.S. Attorney James L. Santelle of the Eastern District of Wisconsin, which said the Medical College of Wisconsin paid the federal government the money to resolve allegations it violated the False Claims Act.

“The Medical College of Wisconsin is committed to providing quality health services and complying with all regulations related to billing for these services,” said Maureen Mack, director of external communications at MCW, in a statement Friday. “The federal government’s focus on this matter was on compliance with Medicare regulations regarding regulations requiring requirements for surgical schedules and billing. Patient safety was not an issue. MCW cooperated fully with the government throughout this investigation. MCW has implemented changes to ensure compliance with these regulations.”

The Medical College employs teaching physicians who provide medical care to patients and to supervise residents. The civil settlement, according to the announcement, resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens with knowledge of fraud to bring a civil action on behalf the United States and share in any recovery.

The complaint, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, alleges that the Medical College of Wisconsin submitted false claims to the Medicare and TRICARE programs for teaching physicians’ services in performing neurosurgeries involving residents. The settlement resolves certain claims submitted between April 16, 2006, and March 31, 2013.