BioTelemetry to Pay $6.4 Million to Settle False Claims Charge

BioTelemetry Inc., a heart monitoring company headquartered in Malvern, Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $6.4 million to resolve allegations made under the False Claims Act (FCA) that its subsidiary, CardioNet, overbilled Medicare and other federal health programs for Mobile Cardiac Outpatient Telemetry (MCOT) services when those services were not reasonable or medically necessary.



“Billing for a higher-level service that is not necessary to treat a patient’s condition to receive higher reimbursement from federal healthcare programs will not be tolerated,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.  “Such conduct wastes critical federal health care program funds and drives up the costs of health care for all of us.”

An MCOT monitor provides real-time, outpatient cardiac monitoring.  MCOT monitors are worn by patients for a period of time during which the device continuously records the activities of the patient’s heart, including any irregular rhythms or other cardiac event, and transmits data to CardioNet’s diagnostic center using cell phone technology.  Traditional, less expensive event monitors only download patient data periodically over a landline.

The government alleges that CardioNet was aware that MCOT services were not eligible for Medicare reimbursement when provided to patients who had experienced only mild or moderate heart palpitations, since less expensive monitors could effectively collect data about those patients’ conditions.

Nonetheless, CardioNet allegedly submitted claims to Medicare for those patients containing the billing code for the more expensive MCOT services along with an inaccurate diagnostic code that misrepresented the true condition of the patients and their need for MCOT services.

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