February 17, 2017 / 12:00 AM / a year ago

U.S. Justice Dept joins whistleblower lawsuit against UnitedHealth -law firm

Feb 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Justice Department has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group Inc that claims the country’s largest health insurer and its units and affiliates overcharged Medicare hundreds of millions of dollars, a law firm representing the whistleblower said on Thursday.

The lawsuit alleges UnitedHealth Group overcharged Medicare by claiming its members nationwide were sicker than they were, according to the law firm Constantine Cannon LLP.

UnitedHealth Group was not immediately available for comment.

The whistleblower, who is represented by Constantine Cannon LLP and Phillips and Cohen LLP, filed in 2011 against UnitedHealth. The lawsuit has been kept under seal in federal court in Los Angeles while the Justice Department investigated the claims for the past five years. Constantine Cannon posted the lawsuit online when it was unsealed on Thursday. (bit.ly/2lQTOh8)

No total damages were specified in the lawsuit. (Reporting by Akankshita Mukhopadhyay in Bengaluru; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)

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