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Hospital Fraud

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September 13, 2019

Texas hospital administrator Starsky Bomer was convicted of violating the Anti-Kickback Statute and conspiring to commit healthcare fraud for paying kickbacks to group homes and others in exchange for referrals to outpatient treatments for severe mental illness at his affiliated hospital, resulting in $16 million dollars of false claims to Medicare. The kickbacks came in the form of salary payments and payments for transportation to owners of group homes. Mr. Bomer was sentenced to ten years in prison for his involvement in the scheme. DOJ

Is Data the Future of Whistleblowing?

Posted  08/28/19
Two recent decisions, one in California and the other in Texas, might be signaling a new frontier in False Claims Act (FCA) litigation: the data-driven whistleblower. Both cases are brought by the same whistleblower, Integra. Integra is not a typical whistleblower, which are generally corporate insiders or other employees of a company that is accused of defrauding the government. Instead, Integra is a corporation that...

July 24, 2019

Pennsylvania-based Eagleville Hospital has agreed to pay $2.85 million to settle allegations of defrauding Medicare, Medicaid, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  According to an anonymous relator, Eagleville violated the False Claims Act between 2011 and 2018 by submitting claims for substance abuse patients improperly admitted for high paying, hospital-level detoxification treatments.  The whistleblower will receive $500,000 of the recovery.  USAO EDPA

July 15, 2019

Millcreek Community Hospital has agreed to pay $2.4 million and enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement requiring five years of monitoring to resolve allegations of violating the False Claims Act.  For a period of four years, the Pennsylvania-based hospital’s inpatient rehabilitation unit allegedly admitted ineligible patients, then failed to document in medical records that such services were medically necessary and reasonable. USAO WDPA

June 27, 2019

Anne Arundel Medical Center (AAMC) has settled with the United States for alleged submissions of false claims to Medicare, TRICARE, and the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program.  In a whistleblower suit by former AAMC employee Barbara McHenry, the Maryland-based hospital was accused of billing for medically unnecessary Evaluation and Management (E/M) services from 2010 to 2013, and doubled billing for E/M services from 2014 to 2017 despite a 2014 update from CMS.  As part of the settlement, AAMC will pay $3 million and comply with a five-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, and McHenry will receive $473,100.  USAO MD

June 26, 2019

The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania Health System have agreed to pay $275,000 to settle allegations of submitting false claims to Medicaid in violation of the False Claims Act.  During a seven month period in 2017, the health system’s Lancaster General Hospital allegedly billed Medicaid for interpretations of obstetric ultrasounds despite its physicians failing to complete those reports in a timely manner.  In about 10% of the cases, the reports were not completed until more than 90 days after the ultrasound was performed, rendering them useless.  USAO EDPA

May 31, 2019

A Kansas hospital accused of submitting false claims to Medicare and Medicaid has agreed to pay $250,000 to settle a qui tam suit by Bashar Awad and Cynthia McKerrigan, with about $50,000 of the recovery going to the whistleblowers.  According to the suit, from 2012 to 2013, Coffey Health System falsely attested to having conducted or reviewed security risk analyses of electronic health records (EHR), which was a requirement under a federal incentive program that pays healthcare providers for adopting certified EHR technology.  USAO KS

May 31, 2019

Oklahoma Heart Hospital, LLC and Oklahoma Heart Hospital South, LLC (collectively “OHH”), have agreed to pay $2.8 million to resolve a qui tam suit by a former employee, which alleged that OHH violated the federal and state False Claims Acts and defrauded Medicaid by submitting claims for outpatient procedures as if they were inpatient procedures.  Though multiple allegations were raised in the lawsuit, only the allegation involving the upcoded claims was intervened by the government; the other allegations will be dismissed as part of the settlement.  USAO WDOK

Intermountain Settles Dispute Pending Before Supreme Court, Leaving 9(b) Ambiguity Unresolved

Posted  05/24/19
Doctor Holding Heart in Palms
Earlier this month, a Utah-based hospital chain announced it would settle whistleblower Dr. Gerald Polukoff’s case alleging the hospital performed unnecessary heart surgeries on Medicare patients, thereby overcharging the federal government in violation of the False Claims Act (FCA). Defendant Intermountain Health, the largest healthcare provider in the Intermountain West, had petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to...

Catch of the Week — Florida Hospital Chain CEO Settles False Billing Allegations

Posted  05/3/19
Emergency Room Hospital with Night Lights On
This week’s Catch of the Week highlights former hospital executive Gary D. Newsome’s settlement resolving false billing and kickback allegations. From 2008 to 2013, Newsome served as CEO of Naples, Florida-based hospital chain Health Management Associates, LLC (HMA). He will pay $3.46 million to resolve federal prosecutors’ claims that HMA, under his leadership, pressured doctors in the emergency department to...
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