DOJ brings lawsuit against Cigna for allegedly submitting $1.4 billion in false Medicare Advantage claims

The Department of Justice on Tuesday filed a lawsuit in opposition to wellbeing insurer Cigna alleging that the company submitted fraudulent Medicare Gain statements to the Facilities for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The fit statements that concerning 2012 and 2017 Cigna applied incorrect diagnostic codes for wellbeing situations that its members did not have, had been not recorded in healthcare data and had been not based mostly on clinically trustworthy info. Above the system of that time, CMS overpaid Cigna by more than $one.four billion, according to the DOJ.

“[Cigna] deliberately misrepresented these wellbeing situations as portion of a prevalent plan to coax CMS into shelling out a greater capitated price on behalf of Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in [Cigna’s] Medicare Gain plans,” the DOJ claimed in its claim.

Cigna produced its 360 System in 2012, in which program members would get an “improved variation of an annual wellness pay a visit to” from their primary care physician. The system was claimed to close gaps in care and detect wellbeing situations that had been likely undetected.

“Even though [Cigna] pitched 360 in this fashion, top quality of care was not the fundamental purpose of the 360 system,” the DOJ claimed. “The system centered on a small business model devised by [Cigna] in which 360 would be applied to come across wellbeing situations that could increase the risk scores of the Plan Members and thus enhance the every month capitated payments that CMS compensated to [Cigna].”

The lawsuit also alleges that Cigna sought out vendors that had been unfamiliar with patients’ wellbeing background to participate in the 360 system. As soon as taking part vendors conducted a specified volume of 360 visits, they obtained a $a hundred and fifty reward for each pay a visit to and had been compensated $one,000 each and every time they attended a 360 training seminar, the DOJ claimed.

The department is seeking an amount equivalent to three occasions the amount of the $one.four billion in damages as effectively as a civil penalty of $11,000 for each and every violation.

WHY THIS Matters

Beneath Medicare Gain, CMS pays wellbeing insurers a every month capitated price based mostly on a beneficiary’s risk rating, which is established based mostly on the member’s relative wellbeing standing.

In this risk adjustment model, insurers obtained bigger payment for program members that have significant and costly wellbeing situations.

Cigna has claimed that it will defend itself in opposition to unjustified allegations.

THE Greater Craze

Before this calendar year, the DOJ strike Anthem with a comparable lawsuit involving fraudulent Medicare Gain risk scores.

The situation accused Anthem of a 1-sided overview of a beneficiary’s healthcare chart to come across more codes to submit to CMS to attain revenue, with out also determining and deleting inaccurate diagnostic codes. This produced $a hundred million or more a calendar year in more revenue for Anthem, the DOJ claimed.

ON THE File

“We are very pleased of our market-foremost Medicare Gain system and the fashion in which we perform our small business. We will vigorously defend Cigna in opposition to all unjustified allegations,” Cigna informed Healthcare Finance News.

Twitter: @HackettMallory
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