SEVEN HOSPITALS TO PAY U.S. OVER $6.3 MILLION TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT CASE

SEVEN HOSPITALS TO PAY U.S. OVER $6.3 MILLION TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT CASE

WASHINGTON, DC Seven hospitals have agreed to pay the United States

more than $6.3 million to settle allegations that the facilities unlawfully

charged federal health care programs for surgical procedures using

experimental cardiac devices, the Justice Department announced today. The

Department alleged that between 1987 and 1994, the hospitals had violated the

False Claims Act by charging the government for medical procedures that were

not properly reimbursable. The hospitals all denied wrongdoing.

Scripps Health, which owns Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California

and Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, has agreed to pay the United States

$3.8 million. UPMC Health System, owner of Presbyterian Hospital and Shadyside

Hospital in Pittsburgh, agreed to pay $1.5 million. Oklahoma City’s INTEGRIS

Baptist Medical Center will pay $629,000. Additionally, Hoag Hospital in

Newport Beach, California will pay $305,000, while St. Joseph’s Regional

Medical Center in South Bend, Indiana, agreed to pay $107,000.

These hospitals and over one hundred others had been named as defendants in a

whistleblower lawsuit filed by Kevin Cosens, a former medical device salesman.

Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the

United States and share in any recovery obtained by the government. Mr. Cosens

will receive more than $1 million of the settlements announced today.

The government has previously entered into settlements with sixteen other

hospitals named as defendants in the case for a total of roughly $29 million.

The government is continuing to investigate a number of other hospitals in the

case.

The government’s investigation was conducted by the Justice Department’s Civil

Division; the United States Attorney’s Offices in San Diego and Los Angeles,

California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Dyer, Indiana;

and Seattle, Washington; as well as the Office of Inspector General of the

Department of Health and Human Services.