A South Carolina hospital will pay $17 million to resolve a whistleblower suit alleging False Claims Act and Stark Law violations regarding employment agreements and physician practice acquisitions.
The Lexington Medical Center allegedly violated the FCA and Stark Law because arrangements with outside physicians were tied to the value or volume of referrals, and were not “commercially reasonable” or exceeded fair market value. The case was brought by David Hammett, a doctor at LMC, who will receive a $4.6 million payout for making the whistleblower claim.
LMC’s alleged arrangement involved 28 physicians at five practices specializing in various fields including internal medicine, orthopedics, and cardiology, according to the settlement agreement.
According to the DOJ, the settlement will ensure that medical services are ordered because “they are in the patient’s best interest, and not because the physician stands to gain financially from the referral.”
As part of the settlement, the hospital is appointing a compliance officer to report to the CEO to make sure they comply with the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.
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More and more False Claims Act and fraud cases are brought to the government’s attention, resulting in payouts to those whose claims result in settlements or payouts as a result of violations.
If you have information that could lead to a whistleblower claim, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention, and you may be eligible for a payout as well.
Contact an experienced Los Angeles whistleblower attorney today for a consultation to discuss your rights and options.