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$20 million settlement in False Claims Act lawsuit

People who work in accounting and billing are often chided and teased about being numbers-driven, quiet people. Breaking the mold, two women who worked in accounts receivable recently made big legal noise. 

Both women worked for seven years for a firm that supplies in-home oxygen equipment. Together, they filed a lawsuit under the False Claims Act and settled for $20 million, according to a news report. Along with two co-workers, the pair of women will split $11 million from the settlement, the report states.

None of the former employees of Lincare live here in Milwaukee; the two women live in upstate New York and another two live in Massachusetts.

The Buffalo News reported that at the core of their lawsuit was the allegation that Lincare used fraudulent practices to overbill Medicare. The company was also accused of giving kickbacks to physicians and fabricating documents to support their claims submitted to the federal health care program.

In their suit, the former co-workers stated that Lincare devised the fraudulent practices in order to make up revenues lost to congressional cutbacks on Medicare spending.

One of the ways the company allegedly overbilled Medicare was to continue to bill for oxygen equipment that had been returned to it -- and even continued billing Medicare after customers died.

In response, the company argued that its mistakes were merely billing errors. It acknowledged no wrongdoing in the settlement, according to the news report.

For those who know of fraud against the U.S. government, a conversation with an attorney experienced in False Claims Act litigation can make your legal options clear.

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