Covenant files legal defense Medicare-Medicaid-related lawsuit

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LUBBOCK, Texas — Covenant Health filed its side of the story in court records Monday after Dr. Howard Beck brought allegations of Medicare and Medicaid fraud.

Dr. Beck’s lawsuit became public in September after the United States government chose to not pursue the allegations but instead let Beck purse the matter as a Qui Tam lawsuit. Qui Tam means if Beck wins money back on behalf of the government, he gets to keep a portion of it.

Related Story: Covenant sued, allegations of Medicare, Medicaid fraud

Covenant raised a legal technicality saying in part that Dr. Beck is not the original source of information and therefore he’s not a true whistleblower. Covenant said in court records that Beck relied upon public information instead of his own insider knowledge.

Covenant wrote in part about the False Claims Act:

Throughout its history as the Government’s principle enforcement tool to combat fraud, courts have attempted to balance the twin goals of the [False Claims Act], namely, discouraging parasitic lawsuits brought by opportunistic bounty-hunters without any inside information or independent knowledge of wrongful conduct, while encouraging legitimate whistleblowers to come forward. The current action (in which the Government declined after a lengthy investigation) provides a clear-cut example of the former scenario …

Covenant also wrote that Dr. Beck “slanders” the doctors who were paid by Covenant. The payments were “commercially reasonable” and in compliance with federal laws, Covenant argued.

Covenant asked a federal judge to throw out Beck’s lawsuit.

CLICK HERE to read the brief from Covenant.

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