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Medicare Fraud

Savannah, GA: (Apr-25-08) The federal government brought a lawsuit against Memorial Health, parent company of Savannah's Memorial University Medical Center, alleging that it overcharged the Medicare program. The suit accused Memorial and the other defendants of violating the Federal False Claims Act, which makes it illegal to knowingly make a false claim for payment from the federal government. The suit also accused the hospital of violating a federal law designed to ensure doctors aren't influenced by excessive payments in making patient referrals.

Sources stated that the suit, filed by the United States government, was brought after a whistleblower complaint by Dr. Boland, an ophthalmologist. Boland filed a complaint in July 2006 against Memorial Health University Medical Center Inc., the Georgia Eye Institute and The Provident Eye Physicians Inc. Following that, the government, for its part, joined in Dr. Boland's complaint and, together with its own investigation, reported that between January 2003 and December 2006, Memorial paid ophthalmologists at Georgia Eye more than was considered reasonable, and stating that it exceeded the fair market value of those services. The government stated that Memorial violated Medicare rules that prohibit doctors from referring patients to a hospital if they receive compensation that's commercially unreasonable.

As part of a settlement reached in the Medicare fraud lawsuit, Memorial Health, parent company of Savannah's Memorial University Medical Center, has agreed to pay the federal government $5.08 million to resolve allegations. Under the terms of the settlement, Dr. Boland will collect $889,000 for his role in the case. [AUGUSTA CHRONICLE: SAVANNAH HOSPITAL COMPANY WILL PAY $5 MILLION IN SETTLEMENT SUIT]

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Published on Apr-29-08


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