Loading...

Donation to Charity in Exchange for Patient Referrals Violates Federal Law

Written by:

at December 5, 2016

On Friday, December 2nd, the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Eastern District of Michigan announced that Vitas Health Corporation Midwest and related entities agreed to pay $200,000 to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute by paying Dr. Farid Fata for patient referrals to its hospice care services, announced U.S. Attorney Barbara L. McQuade. In an earlier unrelated criminal matter, Fata pleaded guilty to health care fraud, conspiracy to pay and receive kickbacks and promotional money laundering, and was sentenced to a term of 45 years in prison.

The allegations in the civil False Claims Act suit were brought to the government by a whistleblower, known as a relator, under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. From November 2012 to January 2014, relator Rita Dubois worked at Vitas as the Director of Market Development in Southeastern Michigan. Dubois’s complaint alleged that from mid-2012 through early 2014, Vitas contributed $15,750 to the Swan For Life Cancer Foundation, which was a cancer charity that Fata established. In return, Fata referred 23 patients to Vitas for hospice care, the complaint alleges. Dubois will receive $36,000 out of the $200,000 settlement for her role in filing the qui tam action.

Patients deserve to receive referrals based on the quality of the services provided, not based on illegal kickback arrangements between medical providers,” McQuade said. “We are working to root out practices that enrich doctors and medical businesses at the expense and potential safety of patients.”

This case was investigated jointly by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

Tags:

SOBER LAW NEWS IS A LEGAL WEBSITE PROVIDING NEWS, COMMENTARY AND OPINIONS ON THE ADDICTION TREATMENT AND RECOVERY SERVICES INDUSTRIES. THE ARTICLES REPOSTED ON THIS SITE TAKE AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT CURRENT TRENDS IN THIS DYNAMIC HEALTH CARE SECTOR AND THE LAWS THAT GOVERN ITS REGULATION AND GROWTH. OUR HOPE AND PURPOSE IS TO PROVIDE RELEVANT AND ACCURATE INFORMATION TO THE PUBLIC AND TO POLICYMAKERS THAT WILL HELP GUIDE THE PROVISION OF ADDICTION TREATMENT OUT OF THE SHADOWS AND INTO TRANSPARENT, MAINSTREAM HEALTH CARE. THE INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS FOR INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY AND IS INTENDED AS A PUBLIC SERVICE. ANY QUESTIONS OF A LEGAL NATURE SHOULD BE DIRECTED TO AN ATTORNEY, AND THE INFORMATION ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO REPLACE LEGAL ADVICE FROM A LICENSED ATTORNEY IN YOUR STATE. BY USING THIS WEBSITE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU MAY NOT RELY UPON OR REFER TO THE CONTENTS AS BEING LEGAL ADVICE OR GUIDANCE PROVIDED BY JEFFREY C. LYNNE, ESQ., WITHOUT HIS PRIOR WRITTEN CONSENT.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This