Complaints or performance? Anesthesiologist, UPMC disagree about why he was fired

By Kyla Asbury | Aug 1, 2018

PITTSBURGH — An anesthesiologist is suing UPMC, University of Pittsburgh Physicians and UPP Inc., claiming he was fired for complaining about illegal activity.

Dr. Nicholas Bircher said in a complaint filed Oct. 30, 2017 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County that as part of his job duties, he was credentialed as a billing provider for Medicare, Pennsylvania Medical Assistance and West Virginia Medicaid.

Bircher said he requested several times that copies of required forms be provided to him for review before attestations of accuracy were signed by the defendants' subsidiaries, but the defendants allegedly refused to provide him with copies of the forms before signing.

Bircher said he complained about the fact that the forms were allegedly being signed without his review at least six times between 2015 and 2017.


James Carroll Jr.   Rothman Gordon

When he made a complaint in January 2017, Bircher said he was told a few days later that his contract with the defendants would not be renewed, which meant his employment was terminated.

Bircher alleged that his termination violated the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Act.

In an answer to the complaint, University of Pittsburgh Physicians and UPMC denied a majority of Bircher's allegations.

The defendants claimed they did not renew Bircher's contract because they were unhappy with his performance, not because of his alleged complaints.

"UPP was entitled to elect not to renew the contract with or without cause and for any or no reason, and it did so by providing a timely notice of non-renewal in compliance with the agreement," the answer said.

The defendants claimed in the lawsuit that Bircher's clinical performance was unsatisfactory and that it had received complaints from other medical providers regarding his work performance.

Bircher is seeking compensatory damages. He is represented by James Carroll Jr. of Rothman Gordon.

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Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

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