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December 19, 2017

Posted  January 2, 2018

Two physician groups, EmCare Inc. and Physician’s Alliance Ltd, agreed to pay more than $33 million to settle charges of violating the False Claims Act and Anti-Kickback Statute for allegedly receiving kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals to hospitals owned by the now-defunct Health Management Associates. Dallas-based EmCare agreed to pay $29.6 million to resolve allegations it received remuneration from HMA to recommend patients be admitted to HMA hospitals on an inpatient basis when the patients should have been treated on an outpatient basis. In a separate settlement, Pennsylvania-based Physician’s Alliance agreed to pay $4 million for allegedly accepting illegal remuneration from HMA to refer patients to two HMA hospitals, Lancaster Regional Medical Center and Heart of Lancaster Medical Center. The allegations originated in whistleblower lawsuits filed under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.  Drs. Thomas Mason and Stephen Folstad brought the qui tam suit against EmCare and will receive a whistleblower award of roughly $6.2 million from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. Former HMA hospital executives George E. Miller and Michael J. Metts brought the qui tam suit against Physician’s Alliance and will receive a yet-to-be-determined award from the proceeds of the government’s recovery. DOJ

Tagged in: Anti-Kickback and Stark, FCA Federal, Hospital Fraud, Lack of Medical Necessity, Multiple Whistleblowers and First-to-File, Whistleblower Case, Whistleblower Rewards,