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UM Agrees To Pay Millions To Settle Medicare Fraud Allegations Raised By Whistle-Blower

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CARL JUSTE
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MIAMI HERALD STAFF
UHealth provides more than 90 percent of the physicians at Jackson, which is the training hospital for UM’s Miller School of Medicine. For a time, the relationship grew strained, partly because UM purchased the former Cedars Medical Center across the street.

A federal lawsuit unsealed Monday after seven years of secrecy has revealed fraud allegations by a former University of Miami senior executive that the school’s healthcare system billed millions of dollars in unnecessary lab tests to Medicare and stuck patients with hidden charges for clinic visits.

The U.S. Justice Department began investigating the allegations after they were first raised by the former chief operating officer of the UM Miller School of Medicine, Jonathan “Jack” Lord, who filed a whistle-blower lawsuit in 2013.

Lord accused the university of filing false claims with Medicare for unnecessary organ transplant tests and overcharging patients for clinic visits during a period when UM was struggling with massive debt after undertaking an ambitious transformation of the medical school into a sprawling academic healthcare system under past president Donna Shalala. She is now a Miami congresswoman who suffered a surprising upset in her race for reelection late Tuesday.

Read more at our news partner the Miami Herald.