Meharry Medical College has agreed to pay more than $100,000 to settle federal allegations that the medical school submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare for services provided by unsupervised, non-physician residents.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Tennessee alleged that from 2016 to 2020 the medical school fraudulently sought physician compensation for services provided at internal medicine, obstetrics-gynecology, and psychiatric outpatient facilities and for psychiatric consultations at Nashville General Hospital.
“The allegations in this case not only constitute fraud on Medicare, but also an unacceptable risk to patients,” U.S. Attorney Henry C. Leventis said in a news release from the Justice Department Monday. “We appreciate that Meharry agreed to implement changes to its policies to ensure compliance with Medicare’s supervision requirements regarding care provided by residents.”
As part of the settlement, Meharry Medical College did not admit wrongdoing. The school will implement a Medicare billing policy to ensure compliance and will offer annual training to faculty and incoming first-year residents about billing requirements.
A spokesperson for the Nashville, Tennessee-based medical school did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case was brought under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by Dr. Rachel Thomas, former internal medicine and hospitalist physician under contract to work at Nashville General Hospital.