The Justice Department has announced that Besler & Company, Inc., a New Jersey health care consulting firm, and its principal Philip Besler, have agreed to settle allegations of fraud against the federal Medicare program, which were initiated by two qui tam whistleblower cases. The settlement is for $2.875 million, plus interest, paid to the federal government.
The settlement concludes that the Besler firm counseled hospital clients to improperly increase charges to Medicare patients, so that they would obtain enhanced reimbursement from Medicare.
Medicare pays supplemental reimbursements or “outlier payments” to hospitals when the cost of care is unusually high. Congress enacted the supplemental outlier payment system to ensure that hospitals possess the incentive to treat inpatients whose care requires unusually high costs.
The Justice Department’s announcement alleged that, “between January 2001 and August 2003, Besler & Company advised hospitals to purposefully inflate charges for inpatient and outpatient care to make these cases appear more costly than they actually were, and thereby augment their outlier reimbursements.”
We congratulate those involved for bringing about this result!