The Justice Department has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group filed by the insurer's former finance director, Benjamin Poehling, claiming the company overbilled the Medicare Advantage program by more than $1 billion at least. 

A UnitedHealth spokesman is contesting the claim, telling the New York Times/Deal Book the insurer was just following the government program's rules on how to review patient records and correct errors.

According to the complaint, UnitedHealth's "chart review program" of its Medicare Advantage patients was, in reality, "strictly a one-sided revenue-generating program."

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Katie Kuehner-Hebert

Katie Kuehner-Hebert is a freelance writer based in Running Springs, Calif. She has more than three decades of journalism experience, with particular expertise in employee benefits and other human resource topics.