The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

Clinton

October 12, 2013

Walker Trial — Expert: City failed to train billing staff

(Continued)

Henry will return to the stand Monday as the case continues.

CITY RESTS ITS CASE

Before Henry took the stand, False Claims Act expert Ronald Clark finished his testimony.

Both the city’s attorney and Walker’s attorney focused heavily on the deposition of billing and coding expert Douglas Wolfberg, who the city had retained in the underlying Schultheis case.

Their questions revolved around the reported 60 or 70 percent ALS, 30 or 40 percent BLS split comment from Wolfberg and if Clark had read different portions of the deposition.

Beyond the Wolfberg deposition, Bob Waterman, Walker’s attorney, asked Clark about the city not having a compliance plan to address employee concerns such as those from Schultheis about the city’s coding. According to Clark’s website, an effective compliance plan is the best defense against a False Claims Act case. The common thread in many False Claims Act cases, his website reads, is the employee repeatedly complaining and feeling their complaints weren’t being heard.

Clark said the Schultheis case was not completely analogous to these situations and questions about the Clinton Fire Department having an effective compliance plan were “completely irrelevant.”

Clark further said he did not know if Schultheis’ complaints had been addressed appropriately.

Once the attorneys were done with Clark, the city called its final witnesses: fire department employees Safety Director Jeff Chapman and Lt. Chris Melvin, who both testified they were never told to bill every ambulance call ALS, nor were they told to use a heart rate monitor, IV and oxygen on every patient.

The defense made a motion for a directed judgement in favor of the defendant following the city resting its case, asserting the city had not proven its case. Judge Nancy Tabor denied that motion, saying there was enough evidence to go forward to the jury.

 

 

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