A call center employee in Antioch is being credited handsomely for tipping off federal investigators to potential Medicare fraud, now leading to a $160 million settlement. The U.S. Justice Department says it is the largest such settlement ever reached in Nashville.
The case revolves around mail-order diabetic testing supplies — an industry that has been rife with fraud. Greg Goodman was working for Arriva Medical, which was once the country’s largest company sending Medicare patients testing supplies. Goodman says he’d reach hundreds of diabetics a day and get them to let him send more testing strips, and — if he could talk them into it — a new testing meter.
The problem is that Medicare is only supposed to pay for new durable medical equipment — like a new diabetic meter — every five years. But Goodman says he was asked to send them one anyway. And often, federal authorities found the co-pay was waived, which is also against Medicare rules meant to keep companies from bilking the system.
Goodman spent months collecting evidence before the company shut down the Antioch call center.
“It was a little uncomfortable at first,” he says. “Because of course me, like most people, you don’t set out to be a whistleblower. But I just kept seeing troubling conduct with the company.”
Goodman took his concerns to Jerry Martin soon after he left as the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee. It was Martin’s first case after leaving the prosecutor’s office, he says. The Justice Department then intervened in the case.
Along the way, Arriva was put out of business after being accused of billing for dead Medicare patients.
“The Medicare system depends upon whistleblowers to come forward and expose fraudulent schemes, like what happened here,” Martin says.
Eight years later, federal prosecutors have reached this record-breaking settlement with the new owners of Arriva, of which Goodman gets to keep $28 million. Now 60 years old, Goodman says he officially retired this summer.