by Ben Vernia | June 8th, 2011
On June 8, the Department of Justice announced that Midtown Imaging, LLC, a radiology clinic in south Florida, has agreed to pay $3 million to resolve claims brought by two whistleblowers. According to DOJ’s press release:
Midtown Imaging LLC, a radiology clinic, and its former owners Midtown Imaging P.A. and PBC Medical Imaging have agreed to pay $3 million to resolve allegations that the clinic violated the False Claims Act, the Justice Department announced today. The West Palm Beach clinic is alleged to have submitted false claims to Medicare during the period 2000 through 2008 by entering into certain leasing and professional services agreements with referring physicians and physician groups that violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law.
The Anti-Kickback Statute, among other things, prohibits offering, paying, soliciting or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid or other federally-funded programs. The Stark Law prohibits a hospital from profiting from patient referrals made by a physician with whom the hospital has an improper financial arrangement. Both the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law are intended to ensure that a physician’s medical judgment is not compromised by improper financial incentives and are based solely on the best interests of the patient.
The relators will receive $600,000 (a 20% share).
Disclosure: I represented a party in this case.