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West Virginia Hospital Facing Charges Of Offering Illegal Kickbacks For Federal Health Care Insurance Referrals

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A hospital, a management consultant, and an individual are facing charges initiated by a whistleblower and joined by the Federal government of violating the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute by allegedly offering cash in exchange for referrals for items or services covered by federal health care insurance programs.

According to the complaint, the defendants, who operate in and around Wheeling, West Virginia, paid employees and contractors based upon the amount of referrals they produced for items and services covered by government health insurance. Such acts are a violation of both the Stark Law, which prohibits hospitals for billing Medicare for services referred to it by doctors with improper financial relationships with it, and Anti-Kickback Statute, which prohibits paying to obtain referrals for items or services covered by Federal healthcare programs.

The suit was initially filed almost exactly one year ago in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania by the hospital’s now-former executive vice president. Though a private party initiated the action, Federal law permits the Federal government to step in if, upon its own investigation, the claim is sufficiently meritorious to justify its involvement. As a violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute is also a violation of the False Claims Act (a/k/a, the Lincoln Law), individuals may file under the statute’s qui tam provisions, as done here.

The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.

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