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Press Releases

Texas Vascular Associates Cleared of Fraud Allegations by Dallas Jury

October 9, 2014

Press Releases

Texas Vascular Associates Cleared of Fraud Allegations by Dallas Jury

October 9, 2014

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Jurors deny fired worker’s claims of Medicare fraud, insurance fraud

DALLAS, TX, October 9, 2014 – A jury has completely cleared Dallas-based surgical group Texas Vascular Associates, PA, and nine affiliated doctors who were accused of Medicare fraud and insurance fraud by former employee Cortez Mills, who was fired.

The unanimous verdict in Cortez Mills v. Texas Vascular Associates, PA, et al., No. CC-12-04630-D, was handed down late on October 7, 2014 by Judge Ken Tapscott in Dallas County Court at Law No. 4. Ms. Mills filed the lawsuit in 2012, shortly after being fired by Texas Vascular for gross misconduct and insubordination.

Ms. Mills claimed she was fired for refusing to engage in insurance fraud and Medicare billing fraud when she worked at Texas Vascular as a medical coder for two years. Texas Vascular denied the allegations in their entirety, and said Ms. Mills’ claims were completely fabricated and that she was fired for an out-of-control outburst on the last day she worked there, which included threats to her supervisors, profanity and other outrageous behavior. Jurors unanimously rejected Ms. Mill’s claims after finding that Texas Vascular and the accused doctors had not violated the law and did nothing wrong.

“In Texas, we call this kind of lawsuit a shakedown. Ms. Mills was trying to intimidate our client with bogus claims, a self-aggrandizing media blitz, and the threat of bad publicity all for her own personal gain. This effort did not succeed because these allegations had no basis in the facts or the law,” says Dallas attorney Thomas M. Melsheimer of Fish & Richardson, who served as trial counsel to Texas Vascular and the physicians along with fellow firm principals Steven H. Stodghill and Natalie L. Arbaugh.  Matthew Scott, of the Kendall Law Group, was counsel for Ms. Mills.

During the five-day trial, the Texas Vascular legal team presented evidence showing exactly how the group’s billing practices are conducted, including the many insurance requirements and medical regulatory hurdles that are consistently cleared by the group’s doctors and staff.

Texas Vascular has consistently maintained that Ms. Mills’ lawsuit was filed because she had an ax to grind. The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) rejected Ms. Mills’ claims for unemployment benefits three times, most recently on Oct. 19, 2012, after finding that her behavior on her last day of work more than justified her termination. In their decision, TWC Commissioners fully adopted the fact findings from the previous hearing, including the conclusion that Ms. Mills’ testimony was “evasive.”

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