GLENDALE — Fraudulent medical billing has become increasingly common among health-care providers and businesses contracted with medical facilities, officials said Tuesday.
A lawsuit filed by two whistle-blowers, Janine Gostel and Sonia Sarmiento, recently led a Glendale-based physical therapy company, Interstate Rehabilitation LLC, to pay $233,345 to resolve allegations that it fraudulently billed Medicare for services that it did not perform, according to court documents.
“We do need insiders who have the special knowledge to come forward,” Assistant U.S. Atty. Lisa Palombo said.
The billings may have never been discovered if it wasn’t for Gostel and Sarmiento, she said.
The pair filed a lawsuit against their former employer, claiming that it fraudulently billed health-care facilities between 1998 and 2002 for work that was supposedly performed by a licensed physical therapist, but was not, according to court documents. The pair alleged the health-care company then submitted bogus claims for payment to Medicare.