|Former Federal Judge and Attorney Joe Kendall quoted in The Dallas Morning News article |
Former judge accuses 9 Dallas doctors of 'massive' fraud
|July 26, 2012 11:42 pm|
The Dallas Morning News:
A group of Dallas surgeons fired one of their billing experts because she refused to aid them in a "massive and pervasive health-care fraud scheme," according to a lawsuit filed this morning.
Cortez Mills is suing Texas Vascular Associates and its nine doctors, saying they pressured her to commit "criminally illegal acts" against patients, insurance companies and Medicare, the federal insurance program for seniors. Among the alleged practices: double billing (charging two insurers for the same thing), "upcoding" (charging for a more expensive service than is performed), "balance billing" (charging patients for the difference between what doctors want and what's allowed by Medicaid, the federal-state insurance program for the poor), and "drive-by billing" (charging patients when a doctor merely watches another doctor work).
Mills says that when she balked, doctors cursed at her and found other employees who followed orders.
Texas Vascular Associates declined to comment this morning. The group is based in the Baylor Hamilton Heart and Vascular Hospital, on the Baylor Dallas campus near downtown. Its doctors are all on the medical staff of Baylor Health Care System hospitals.
The lawsuit, filed in Dallas County court, does not accuse any Baylor entities of wrongdoing. It seeks back pay, compensatory and punitive damages.
Mills is represented by the Dallas law office of Joe Kendall, a former federal and state judge. He was appointed to the federal bench by President George H.W. Bush, and later to the U.S. Sentencing Commission by President Bill Clinton.
Kendall told me that Mills passed a lie-detector test before he agreed to pursue the litigation. He said he is communicating with the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office about the case.
©2012, The Dallas Morning News, Inc.
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