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Jax Daily Record Friday, Jun. 1, 201809:05 AM EST

Jacksonville clinic settles federal lawsuit for $1.2 million

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Whistleblower will receive about $240,000.
by: Max Marbut Associate Editor

Riverside Spine & Pain Physicians LLC, a pain management clinic in Jacksonville, has agreed to pay $1,204,415.60 to resolve charges filed in federal court they violated the False Claims Act by knowingly billing the government for medically unnecessary urine drug tests.

“A primary mission of the United States Attorney’s Office is protecting Medicare, TRICARE and other federal health care programs from fraud,” U.S. Attorney Maria Chapa Lopez said in a news release.

The investigation was conducted by, in addition to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Defense Criminal Investigative Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

The settlement ends a case originally filed by a former practitioner at the clinic, Dr. Carissa Stone. She sued under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which allows a citizen to sue for false claims on behalf of the government and to share in the recovery.

Stone will receive about $240,000 of the proceeds from the settlement, according to the release.

The case is captioned United States ex rel Carissa Stone vs. Riverside Spine & Pain Physicians LLC, dba Riverside Spine & Pain Physicians PL, Case No. 8:16-cv-945-T36EAJ.

The claims resolved in the settlement were allegations only, and there was no determination of liability.

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