Cristiana Care Settles Whistleblower Lawsuit


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Christiana Care pays $3.3 million to end whistleblower lawsuit

By SEAN O’SULLIVAN • The News Journal • March 2, 2010

WILMINGTON — State and federal prosecutors announced Monday that Christiana Care Health System agreed to pay $3.3 million to resolve a whistleblower’s lawsuit alleging kickbacks to doctors and misuse of state and federal health care funds.


Assistant U.S. Attorney Shannon Hanson said it is the largest settlement ever in Delaware for a case of this kind.

Christiana Care officials strongly deny any wrongdoing and state that they settled only to avoid a lengthy and costly legal battle.

Prosecutors charge that Christiana Care, the largest health care provider in the state, was rewarding a group of Wilmington neurologists who regularly referred their patients to the hospital.

This came in the form of overpayments to Neurology Associates for their in-hospital services reading and interpreting electroencephalograms, which measure brain and neurological activity, under a contract that dated to 1989, according to court papers.

Those payments were “significantly higher than (and in some cases multiples of) the amount Medicare and Medicaid paid CCHS as reimbursement for those services,” according to U.S. Attorney David C. Weiss.

“Christiana Care admitted no wrongdoing in this case,” responded Christiana spokesman William A. Schmitt. “We cooperated fully in the investigation and voluntarily provided considerable quantities of records to the government, none of which were found by the Office of the Inspector General to substantiate any of the allegations.

“The case alleged that Christiana Care overpaid a medical group for services. Importantly, this case did not involve claims of improper billing of Center for Medicare and Medicaid programs … [or] that Christiana Care was billing for services that it did not provide or that it was billing for services that were not medically necessary. Nor did it involve improper influence on physician decision-making or compromise patient care in any way,” he said.

Schmitt added that settlements in such cases are required by the federal Office of the Inspector General “whether or not any wrongdoing on the part of the provider has been established. This is the case with Christiana Care.”

SOURCE Delaware Online

Read the full article here.



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