Freedom Health, a Tampa Florida based HMO will pay $32 million to settle a whistle-blower suit asserting that the insurance company defrauded Medicare by falsifying claims making members seem more ill than they really were—all to get higher payments from Medicare.
The federal lawsuit was originally filed by Freedom’s former chief medical officer Darren Sewell. He died in 2014 but his estate is entitled to a share of the $32.5 million settlement. who said that the members were treated for conditions they did not have or they never received additional care.
Doctors were unable to refer Freedom members to specialists, Inman said, and one Central Florida patient cited in the complaint had to travel hundreds of miles for a mammogram and bone density test.
Sewell filed the lawsuit against Freedom in 2009, and this helped the FBI to uncover the wrongdoing.
Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers but not in this case.