government

Hospital settles anti-kickback case; physician whistle-blower rewarded

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted June 7, 2010

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A Cincinnati hospital network and one of its former facilities agreed to pay the government $108 million to settle claims they violated federal anti-kickback laws by compensating physicians for referrals of cardiac patients. A portion of the May settlement -- $23.5 million -- will go to a physician whistle-blower who worked at the hospital and helped initiate the case.

The Dept. of Justice alleged that Christ Hospital -- once a part of the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati -- only allowed cardiologists who referred patients to the hospital to work in its outpatient cardiac testing center, where the doctors could gain additional income for patients they treated.

The facilities admitted no wrongdoing under the agreement. Christ Hospital said in a statement that its actions helped ensure access to care by providing sufficient coverage in the outpatient center.

Note: This item originally appeared at http://www.ama-assn.org/amednews/2010/06/07/gvbf0607.htm.

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