A doctor who worked for a hospital in Missouri will received $5.4 million from the settlement of a false claims lawsuit he filed against his employer and another hospital.
Dr. Viran Roger Holden alleged the hospitals made improper payments to oncologists in exchange for patient referrals.
The two defendants are Mercy Hospital Springfield and its affiliate, Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities. Their facilities include a hospital, a clinic, and a chemotherapy infusion center in Springfield, Missouri.
They agreed to pay the United States $34 million to settle the allegations.
Dr. Holden filed the lawsuit under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
The whistleblower provisions of the FCA allow private citizens to sue on behalf of the government for false claims and share in any recovery.
The $34 million settlement resolved allegations that the hospitals paid oncologists based partly on the value of their referrals to the chemo infusion center the hospitals operated.
“Federal law restricts the financial relationships that hospitals and clinics may have with doctors who refer patients to them,” the DOJ said.
The government can take over qui tam suits, as it did in this case.
The settlement resolved allegations only and didn’t determine liability, the DOJ said.
The case is United States ex rel. Holden v. Mercy Hospital Springfield, et al., Case No. 15-cv-3283 (W.D. Mo.).
Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.