Two whistleblowers first filed a False Claims Act case against Rush University Medical Center in 2004. While the lawsuit included allegations of many different types of fraud, the United States only intervened with respect to violations of the Stark Law (Rush was accused of entering into improper relationships with physicians). Rush settled the False Claims Act claims related to the Stark Law for $1.5 million, with the whistleblowers receiving $270,760.
While the government was content to accept a settlement for the Stark Law violations, the whistleblowers still want Rush held accountable for other types of fraud they contend Rush committed on the government. Physician Robert Goldberg and director of real estate June Beecham filed their 3rd amended complaint this past June and the case has recently been unsealed. The complaint names Midwest Orthopedics at Rush, LLC, Rush Surgicenter, Ltd, and 6 individual physicians as defendants and accuses them of failing to supervise medical residents during surgery, a violation of Medicare rules. The whistleblowers allege that the defendants scheduled an extremely high amount of surgeries which made them millions of dollars but which also eliminated the possibility that physicians could offer the required amount of supervision to their residents. By billing Medicare for surgical procedures that did not comply with Medicare rules, the defendants may have violated the False Claims Act.