Oklahoma Hospital To Pay $13 Million To Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

January 27, 2010 

On December 22, 2009, the Department of Justice released the settlement of a False Claims Act case involving St. John Health System of Tulsa, Oklahoma. The health provider has agreed to pay the United States $13,229,348.88 to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare and Medicaid.

Specifically, the United States determined that St. John made payments to 23 individual physicians or physician groups to induce referrals for medical services. Federal law prohibits healthcare providers from billing federal health care programs for referrals from doctors with whom they have a financial relationship, unless that relationship falls within certain exceptions.

St. John’s fraudulent financial relationships were disclosed in a report filed by the health provider to the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Inspector General. The report suggested that the agreements with physicians may have violated federal law.

“The resolution of this matter yielded a substantial recovery for taxpayers, and it underscores our commitment to ensure that services reimbursable by federal health care programs are based on the best interests of patients rather than the personal financial interests of referring physicians,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Department’s Civil Division.

If you are seeing fraud on the government, contact us by calling 800-377-1812 for strictly confidential advice from experienced counsel, with no fee obligation.