Mayo Clinic to pay $1M to settle billing claims lawsuit

Published On: Aug 03 2012 08:10:12 AM CDT   Updated On: Aug 03 2012 08:09:01 AM CDT

ROCHESTER, Minn. (AP) -- Mayo Clinic has agreed to pay $1 million to settle a federal lawsuit that accused Mayo of billing the government for thousands of lab tests that were never performed.

The Star Tribune reports the U.S. Department of Justice and four whistleblowers had accused the Rochester clinic of "knowingly" submitting false claims for nonexistent pathology tests over an eight-year period, from 1999 to 2007.

Mayo calls the dispute a "billing error issue" and says it agreed to the settlement to avoid a prolonged legal process.

Mayo spokesman Karl Oestreich says Mayo has "cooperated fully" with investigators. He noted Mayo voluntarily repaid nearly $263,000 in 2007, when the allegations came to light.

The case began in 2007 when a Plymouth attorney who is also a physician filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Mayo.