Healthcare information technology vendor IDX Systems Corp. on Monday placed on administrative leave a top official who supervised a whistleblowing physician executive who alleges IDX committed fraud on a federal informatics contract.
IDX placed Larry Krassner, president of its Carecast integrated clinical-financial software division, on paid leave, and Michael Raymer, vice president for Carecast marketing, has been named acting president of the Seattle-based division, company sources confirm.
Employees also have been instructed not to contact Krassner and to report to management any communication they may receive from Krassner. IDX spokesperson Margo Happer calls this directive "a matter of company policy" regarding employees on leave.
Happer, at company headquarters in Burlington, Vt., says that Krassner is on paid leave but will not specify the reasons. Happer does say, however, that the move "has absolutely nothing to do with the Leon matter."
The IT vendor is embroiled in a dispute with Mauricio Leon, M.D., senior director of medical informatics in the Seattle office, who says he is on unpaid leave from the company. Leon alleges in a federal lawsuit that IDX retaliated against him for attempting to blow the whistle on perceived fraud.
IDX on April 25 sued Leon in federal court in Seattle, asking the court to declare that the company would not be in violation of the federal False Claims Act or the Sarbanes-Oxley Act for retaliation against a whistleblower should IDX decide to terminate Leon.
In its suit, IDX says that Leon was an "at will" employee with a salary of $160,000 plus bonus who demanded three years' severance pay and payments to cover his costs of relocating from the Seattle area to San Diego for personal reasons, terms that IDX deems "exorbitant."
Leon filed a suit of his own last month in the same federal court. In that action, Leon says he reported his concerns to Krassner, his superior, who Leon says thanked him for bringing questions of wrongdoing to management's attention.
IDX denies Leon's charges and is not otherwise commenting on the contents of the suit.
Attempts to contact Krassner have been unsuccessful.