Columbus Regional Healthcare System and Dr. Andrew Pippas agreed to pay more than $25 million to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims in violation of the Stark Law. The settlement also resolves allegations that Columbus Regional and Pippas submitted claims for payment to federal health care programs that misrepresented the level of services they provided. According to the government, between 2003 and 2013, Columbus Regional provided excessive salary and directorship payments to Pippas that violated the Stark Law. The government further alleged Columbus Regional submitted claims to federal health care programs for services at higher levels than supported by the documentation. The allegations first arose in two whistleblower lawsuits filed former Columbus Regional executive Richard Barker under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act. Barker will receive a yet-to-be-determined whistleblower award. DOJ
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