Cincinnati-based West Chester Hospital and its parent company, UC Health, agreed to pay $4.1 million to settle allegations that West Chester Hospital violated the False Claims Act by billing federal health care programs for medically unnecessary spine surgeries. The challenged surgeries were performed between 2009 and 2013 by Dr. Abubakar Atiq Durrani, a surgeon from Mason, Ohio, who had admitting privileges at West Chester Hospital and who was arrested in July 2013 but allegedly fled the country and remains a fugitive. The allegations first arose in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former patients of Durrani under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. They will receive a whistleblower award of approximately $800,000 from the federal share of the settlement. DOJ
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