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Orange County firm accused of defrauding federal healthcare programs settles case for $3.6 million

July 8, 2010 | 11:03 am

An Orange County company that provided heart monitoring services has agreed to pay $3.6 million to settle a lawsuit in which the company is accused of defrauding government healthcare programs, the U.S attorney’s office said Thursday.

The lawsuit alleged that National Cardio Labs LLC; the company’s manager, Adrienne Stanman; and Stanman’s husband, Robert Parsons, a former manager, defrauded Medicare, TRICARE, and health insurance carriers contracted through the federal government, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

National Cardio Labs, based in Santa Ana, Aliso Viejo and Irvine, was operating as an independent diagnostic testing facility that received, analyzed and printed out data from heart monitors and other medical devices, authorities said.

Stanman and Parsons, both from Laguna Niguel, are accused of knowingly submitting false healthcare claims for cardiac and blood pressure diagnostic testing to the federal health insurance programs between January 1998 and February 2004.

The lawsuit was originally filed in January 2004 by two former employees of National Cardio Labs, who worked in the field of billing and diagnostic testing, and later became whistleblowers. It alleged that National Cardio Labs double-billed federal insurers for certain services, procedures and supplies; and billed for services it did not or could not provide.

The lawsuit was dismissed and the settlement finalized on May 13. Stanman, Parsons and National Cardio Labs paid the federal government almost $2.3 million, and agreed to the government keeping an additional $584,000 that had been seized by the FBI as part of an asset forfeiture action, the U.S. attorney’s office said. The defrauders must pay the balance of $720,000 by July 21.

The whistleblowers, named as James Cast and Stanton Crowley, will receive $1,115,614 from the settlement, according to the U.S. attorney’s office.

--Ann M. Simmons