by Ben Vernia | January 7th, 2013
On January 7, the Department of Justice announced that it had settled a qui tam whistleblower’s case against Ohio-based health care providers, for a combined $4.4 million. According to DOJ’s press release:
EMH Regional Medical Center (EMH) has agreed to pay the United States $3,863,857 and North Ohio Heart Center Inc. (NOHC) has agreed to pay the United States $541,870 to settle allegations that they submitted false claims to Medicare, the Justice Department announced today.
EMH is a non-profit community hospital system located in Lorain County, Ohio. During the relevant time period, NOHC was an independent physician group located in Lorain County that practiced at EMH. The settlement resolves allegations that between 2001 and 2006 EMH and NOHC performed unnecessary cardiac procedures on Medicare patients. Specifically, the United States alleged that EMH and NOHC performed angioplasty and stent placement procedures on patients who had heart disease but whose blood vessels were not sufficiently occluded to require the particular procedures at issue.
The Government announced that the whistleblower, the former manager of the hospital’s catheterization and electrophysiology laboratory, will receive $660,859 of the total (a 15% relator’s share).