Sunday, May 23, 2010

Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and The Christ Hospital to pay $108 million for violating anti-kickback statute and defrauding Medicare and Medicaid

"The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and one of its former member hospitals, The Christ Hospital, have agreed to pay the United States $108 million to settle claims that they violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and the False Claims Act by paying unlawful remuneration to doctors in exchange for referring cardiac patients to The Christ Hospital in a pay-to-play scheme, the Justice Department announced today. The United States alleged that The Christ Hospital, a 555-bed acute care hospital located in Mount Auburn, Ohio, limited the opportunity to work at the Heart Station – an outpatient cardiology testing unit that provides non-invasive heart procedures – to those cardiologists who referred cardiac business to The Christ Hospital. The government further alleged that cardiologists whose referrals contributed at least two percent of the hospital's yearly gross revenues were rewarded with a corresponding percentage of time at the Heart Station, where they had the opportunity to generate additional income by billing for the patients they treated at the unit and for any follow-up procedures that these patients required. The government asserted that The Christ Hospital's use of Heart Station panel time to induce lucrative cardiac referrals violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits a hospital from offering or paying, or a physician from soliciting or receiving, anything of value in return for patient referrals. The United States also alleged that the claims The Christ Hospital submitted to Medicare and Medicaid as a result of this illegal kickback scheme constituted a violation of the False Claims Act" - PR Newswire

No comments: