Justice Department Settles $12 Million CityMD Covid Fraud Allegations

People wait in line to enter CityMD, a health clinic offering coronavirus disease (COVID-19) testing, on the Upper West Side as the Omicron coronavirus variant continues to spread in Manhattan, New York, USA ., December 19, 2021. .

Andrew Kelly | Reuters

WalgreensGovernment-backed CityMD will pay $12.04 million to resolve Covid fraud allegations brought by the Department of Justice, the department announced Friday.

From February 2020 to April 2022, the urgent care provider allegedly obtained fraudulent government reimbursements for Covid testing by submitting false claims to a Covid program specifically designated for uninsured patients, even when its patients had health insurance.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of New Jersey brought the charges under the False Claims Act, a law that incentivizes whistleblowers to file lawsuits related to potential fraud by providing them with a share of government profits in successful cases.

Stephen Kitzinger, a CityMD patient, initially alleged fraud in 2020. As a reward for bringing the case to the government's attention, Kitzinger will receive more than $2 million from the settlement.

CityMD, which operates more than 100 walk-in urgent care offices in New York and New Jersey, cooperated with the government's investigation and hired an outside company to help the government determine how much was lost in connection as a result of the alleged fraud. . according to the Department of Justice.

“Uninsured Americans who were at risk of contracting COVID-19 were covered by emergency funding programs that made available the testing, vaccines and treatments they needed,” U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said in a statement. on Friday. “The alleged misuse of these funds is something we cannot and will not tolerate.”

Walgreens did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent outside normal business hours.

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