Doctor sues Tanner Medical Center, alleges false billing | Health
VILLA RICA, Ga. -- Psychiatrist Randy Warner has sued Tanner Medical Center Inc. of Villa Rica, Ga., alleging Tanner falsely billed Georgia Medicaid for professional services he performed.
The lawsuit details 534 alleged false billing instances, from 2009 to 2012 that involved 178 indigent patients Tanner billed Medicaid for services Warner rendered. Civil penalties and damages are estimated to exceed $5 million.
Warner claims Tanner billed Medicaid and got payments for services he rendered at its Willowbrooke facility, even though he was not a Tanner employee. The medical facility had no authority to bill Medicaid but its actions consequently caused Warner’s legitimate billings to Medicaid to be denied, the suit alleges.
Warner said he refused to sign a contract allowing Tanner to bill for the services he provided to patients. The suit states Warner felt that the contract allowed Tanner to bill for his services for a full week while only paying him for one to three dates of service per week at below market rates.
“The contract was a bad deal for me and a bad deal for patients, so I refused to sign it,” Warner said, in a statement.
In a statement to Atlanta Business Chronicle, Tanner said Warner's allegations are false.
“Dr. Warner alleges that some of his Medicaid patients were improperly billed," Tanner said. "Tanner would welcome the opportunity to be more specific, but ethical considerations prevent us from doing so. Without going into specifics, it’s important for the community to know that Dr. Warner’s allegations are false. Tanner has properly billed for services provided to patients at Willowbrooke consistent with Tanner’s long, strong history of advocacy and commitment to mental health care and treatment.”
The whistleblower lawsuit was filed in June by the Pete Firm PC and unsealed in September.