DALLAS, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Texas Vascular Associates, PA, the premier vascular surgical group in the state of Texas, will aggressively fight false charges from a former employee who has accused the group and its doctors of Medicare and insurance fraud. Cortez Mills, who worked for Texas Vascular for two years before being terminated for cause, filed a lawsuit on July 26, 2012.
"The allegations are outrageous and completely false, and we look forward to proving that in court. We have not committed any illegal acts or Medicare fraud," said Dr. Bertram Smith, president of Texas Vascular Associates, PA. "Ms. Mills is a disgruntled former employee who was terminated for cause. She was not fired because she uncovered fraudulent billing practices at our offices. She was fired because of ongoing inappropriate and abusive conduct toward her supervisor and fellow employees."
Ms. Mills was denied unemployment benefits in a decision upheld in June 2012 by the Texas Workforce Commission because she had been terminated for just cause. The Texas Workforce Commission found that Ms. Mills had been warned several times that the abusive manner with which she treated other employees was unacceptable.
"The allegations have no basis in the facts or the law. Terminated employees often try to justify their own personal failings or otherwise grind an ax at the courthouse or in the media. Here, Ms. Mills has doubled down with a legal filing and a media blitz. Neither effort will succeed," said Thomas Melsheimer, a principal in the Dallas office of Fish & Richardson who is representing Texas Vascular along with Fish principal Steve Stodghill.
Mr. Melsheimer, who was an Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas from 1990 to 1993, recently obtained a record-setting $158 million settlement from Johnson & Johnson and its Janssen division – the largest Medicaid fraud recovery in Texas history – in conjunction with the Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. Mr. Melsheimer brought the qui tam lawsuit on behalf of a whistleblower.
It's important to note that Ms. Mills is not a whistleblower and this is not a health care fraud case. Ms. Mills has two limited employment claims, the factual basis of which has been rejected twice by the Texas Workforce Commission. In legitimate cases of wrongdoing, the law provides a method for fraud cases to be reported and investigated confidentially.
"Ms. Mills didn't choose a legitimate route to report her ridiculous allegations of fraud for good reason – her claims are bogus. She seeks personal gain and attention through a public lawsuit and is using the media in an attempt to tarnish her former employer," added Mr. Melsheimer. "Texas Vascular will unequivocally defend its good name within the Dallas medical community and among the thousands of patients it has successfully treated over the years. When this is over, we expect our client to be completely vindicated of all charges."
SOURCE Texas Vascular Associates