Dynasplint Settles Durable Medical Equipment National Fraud Case
Vezina Law Group announced today a $10.3 million settlement of a False Claims Act lawsuit between Relator Meredith Deane (“Relator’), Defendants Dynasplint Systems, Inc. (“Dynasplint”), its owner and CEO George Hepburn (“Hepburn”), and the United States of America, acting through the United States Department of Justice and the US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Louisiana, and on behalf of the Office of Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”) of the Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) (collectively, the “United States”), among other parties.
Dynasplint is a national durable medical equipment (“DME”) supplier headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. The settlement resolves allegations that Dynasplint and Hepburn defrauded Medicare by knowingly and systematically changing Place of Service codes in its bills to Medicare in order to conceal the use of its devices to nursing homes and skilled nursing facilities, which were not reimbursable. Dynasplint made it appear that patients were receiving and using devices in a home setting which were reimbursable. These fraudulent practices bilked millions of dollars from Medicare.
Relator, a sales representative in Dynasplint’s Neurological Division, repeatedly questioned Dynasplint’s practices internally to no avail, prompting her to file a lawsuit in 2010 in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, captioned United States ex rel. Deane v. Dynasplint Systems. Inc. et al., No.2:10-cv-02085, pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, 31 U.S.C. § 3730(b) (“FCA”). The FCA allows private persons with knowledge of fraud against a government program to file lawsuits on the government’s behalf. If the case is successful, the private plaintiffs, known as “relators,” are entitled to a percentage of the government’s recovery. In this case, the Relators will receive 19.25% of the recovery.
Relators were represented by J. Marc Vezina and Monica P. Navarro, partners at Vezina Law, PLC, a member of the Vezina Law Group with offices in Birmingham, Michigan and New Orleans, Louisiana. The United States was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sharon Smith, Peter Mansfield, and Sunni LeBoeuf of the Eastern District of Louisiana, as well as Andrea Larry and Augustine Ripa of the Commercial Litigation Branch of the U.S. Department of Justice.
Vezina Law Group is a full-service law firm with hundreds of millions of dollars in False Claims Act/Qui Tam recoveries. www.vezinalaw.com