Industry News

Hospital System Pays $85 Million for Violating the Stark Law

Lisa Shuman | March 2014

The Department of Justice (DOJ) recently announced that Halifax Hospital Medical Center and Halifax Staffing Inc. (collectively referred to as Halifax) has settled with the government for $85 million for allegations of violating the False Claims Act and the Physician Self-Referral Law (also known as the Stark Law). Specifically, the government alleged that Halifax knowingly violated the Stark Law by including an incentive bonus in six medical oncologists’ contracts that inappropriately included the value of prescription drugs and tests that the oncologists ordered.  Further, the government alleged that Halifax knowingly paid three neurosurgeons more than fair market value.

Halifax has also agreed to enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG).  The investigation and litigation was carried out by the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida and the OIG.

The DOJ article is available at: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/March/14-civ-252.html

Department of Justice.  “Florida Hospital System Agrees to Pay the Government $85 Million to Settle Allegations of Improper Financial Relationships with Referring Physicians.”  11 Mar. 2014. 

About the Author

Ms. Shuman assists health care organizations to develop, implement and evaluate their compliance programs and HIPAA privacy programs. Ms. Shuman specializes in our firm’s HIPAA Privacy services, including leading privacy investigations, breach risk assessments, breach notification letters, breach reporting to the Office for Civil Rights and corrective actions plans. She specializes in serving as Interim Privacy Officer for large health care systems, managed care organizations, comprehensive cancer center and health care business associate.

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