With the advent of healthcare reform, Bassett says Stark Law violations could become even more prevalent and costly as more hospitals establish relationships with physicians.
"This shows that you need to dot your I's and cross your T's. In all of the contractual relationships with physicians who are in a position to refer patients to the hospital they have to be absolutely certain that they have met all of the requirements of the laws."
Adventist Health Pays $14.1M to Resolve False Claims Allegations
Adventist Health System/West and affiliate White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles will pay the federal government and the state of California $14.1 million to settle whistleblower claims that they violated the False Claims Act, DOJ said.
The deal resolves federal prosecutors' claims that Adventist improperly compensated physicians who referred patients to the White Memorial facility by transferring assets, including medical and non-medical supplies and inventory, at less than fair market value. White Memorial also paid referring physicians compensation that prosecutors said was above fair market value to provide teaching services at its family practice residency program, DOJ said.
About $11.5 million of the settlement will be paid back to the Medicare Trust Fund and $2.6 million will be paid to California's Department of Health Care Services, DOJ said.