Whistleblower accuses Bismarck clinic of kickback schemes

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — The former CEO of a North Dakota clinic filed a whistleblower lawsuit accusing the facility of participating in kickback schemes that cost the federal government millions of dollars in fraudulent Medicare and Medicaid claims.

Jeffrey Neuberger alleges in his lawsuit that doctors from Bismarck’s Mid Dakota Clinic, P.C. and its building partnership boosted their salaries by referring patients to the clinic’s ambulatory surgical center, because they all shared in the profits of that center.

The document says Mid Dakota Clinic had a similar kickback arrangement with another physician group in Bismarck.

Neuberger “repeatedly heard and observed MDC surgeons routinely discussing the fact that they received referrals from their primary care or nonsurgical physician shareholders at MDC,” the complaint says.

“The scheme is straightforward,” it reads, and the government would not have paid the claims had it known about the kickbacks. The doctors “knew full well” that every referral would raise their salaries, which were above the national averages, the complaint says.

The complaint also accuses the clinic’s board of directors of denying three doctors the chance to invest in the company unless they produced more business, which they did in part by referrals to Mid Dakota Clinic doctors and procedures in the surgical center.