Christ Hospital has settled a federal whistleblower lawsuit accusing its acclaimed cardiac-care center of running an illegal kickback scheme. Christ and the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati, a co-Defendant, will pay millions to settle the lawsuit. The suit was filed by Dr. Harry Fry, a retired cardiologist, in 2003. The parties were still finalizing settlement documents at press time. Reports are that the amount of the settlement could approach $100 million. The government insisted that each of more than 100,000 Medicare or Medicaid claims filed from the heart station from 1999 to 2004 were a separate violation with a penalty of up to $11,000 each.
Dr. Fry’s lawsuit was unsealed in April 2008 when the Justice Department filed its own Complaint. Christ Hospital acquired the assets of Ohio Heart & Vascular Center, the doctors group that filled most of the heart-station slots, and it has now withdrawn from the alliance. The case was set for a trial later this year, but Judge S. Arthur Spiegel forced final settlement talks. While Christ Hospital insisted it had done nothing wrong, it settled the case and for a very large amount.
Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
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