PORTLAND (AP) — A federal judge says a former hospital billing official can continue with a lawsuit accusing her former employer of taking in millions of dollars in improper Medicare payments.

Jennifer Worthy filed suit against Mercy Hospital in 2014. Judge John Woodcock denied most of the motions Mercy and a pair of billing companies filed to dismiss her allegations.

Woodcock also dismissed some of Worthy’s claims that came under whistleblower protections laws because they weren’t filed in time.

The Portland Press Herald reports Worthy charges two billing companies engaged in schemes to improperly bill Medicare. The basis for the suit is the False Claims Act.

A spokesman for Mercy says Woodcock’s decision merely means the lawsuit can continue and the hospital and its parent company plan to “vigorously defend ourselves.”



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