Local cancer health care providers accused in whistleblower suit

An unsealed federal complaint names Florida Cancer Specialists and twenty-first century Oncology.

Two large cancer treatment systems with locations in Sarasota and Manatee counties are accused inside a federal whistleblowers’ suit of saying yes to talk about patients solely to be able to ignore competitors.

The suit argues that the collusion between Florida Cancer Specialists and twenty-first century Oncology violated condition and federal laws and regulations against kickbacks and split-fee plans, inside a territory that stretches “from Tampa to Marco Island.” Further, the plaintiffs allege improper management of cancer patients by unqualified medical assistants, Medicare billing fraud and discriminatory management of employees.

The suit was filed within the U.S. District Court, Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division, and unsealed in May. It wasn’t became a member of by the us government, which usually intervenes in Medicare fraud cases that demonstrate a higher possibility of recovering a large amount of cash. The Department of Justice, however, can pursue separate criminal charges within the matter. A mediation hearing within the civil situation was lately looking for March. 4.

Florida Cancer Specialists, founded back in 1984 with a Fort Myers oncologist, is really a network of nearly 100 clinics inside a territory based on Tallahassee and Jacksonville within the north and Naples and Delray within the south. It’s 10 locations in Sarasota and Manatee counties.

Benjamin H. Yormak, a Bonita Springs attorney representing the plaintiffs — two former high-ranking employees of Florida Cancer Specialists — confirmed these 10 locations are incorporated within the territory the complaint describes included in a sweetheart deal to monopolize cancer patients.

“Our ongoing analysis suggests similar schemes elsewhere in Florida,” Yormak added.

Also located in Fort Myers, twenty-first century Oncology is really a physician-brought company that operates 143 centers in 17 states and 36 in South America. The organization has settled two recent whistleblower lawsuits associated with accusations of unnecessary tests, as well as in May it declared Chapter 11 personal bankruptcy protection to restructure greater than $1 billion in lengthy-term debt. Previously year, there has been two alterations in the publish of Chief executive officer, along with a firing from the chief financial officer.

Within the suit, two former vice presidents of Florida Cancer Specialists who say that they are wrongfully ended also declare that the 2 companies designed a secret arrangement to which all patients would be delivered to twenty-first century for radiation and also to Florida Cancer Specialists for medical services. Outdoors of Bonita Springs, the complaint adds, the 2 companies both offer these types of services competing with one another.

The businesses, based on the complaint, “produced an illegal monopoly because each entity controls the marketplace for a particular service or product, and contains acquired that market power … by suppressing competition.”

The plaintiffs are trying to find back pay and unspecified compensatory and punitive damages. An itemized reaction to the suit from Florida Cancer Specialists noted that “the federal government declined to intervene within this situation. We take these allegations seriously and therefore are searching in to the matter.”

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