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Hospital Chain HCA Inc. Pays $16.5 Million False Claims Act Settlement for Providing Physician Group with Financial Incentive to Refer Patients to HCA Facilities

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HCA Inc., one of the United States’ largest for-profit hospital chains, has agreed to pay the federal government $16.5 million to settle a qui tam lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act and the Stark Law, which restricts financial relationships between hospitals and physicians.

According to the lawsuit, in 2007 HCA subsidiaries Parkridge Medical Center, located in Chattanooga, Tennessee and HCA Physician Services, headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, violated federal law by providing financial benefits intended to induce physician members of Diagnostic to refer patients to HCA facilities.

Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Civil Division, said:

“The Department of Justice continues to pursue cases involving improper financial relations between health care providers and their referral sources, because such relationships can corrupt a physician’s judgment about the patient’s true healthcare needs.”

The Employment Law Group® law firm’s whistleblower attorneys have helped many clients file suit against employers that fraudulently bill the U.S. government, and have established favorable precedents under the retaliation provision of the False Claims Act.

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