Settlement of a Hospital OIG Voluntary Disclosure Matter
Evolving and complex legislation in the health care arena can provide a myriad of challenges for providers, and overcoming the challenges requires effective and efficient legal counsel. We represented an Ohio hospital that disclosed information about improper financial relationships with referring physicians in response to claims of violating the False Claims Act, the Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Statute. Our client had a relationship with two physicians – a joint venture with a pain management physician and also an arrangement where our client purchased intraocular lenses at an inflated price from an ophthalmologist. Both relationships were alleged to have violated statutory requirements. We represented the client in negotiating a settlement with the Department of Justice, the Office of the Inspector General and the Ohio Attorney General (collectively “Government”). During the negotiations, our client disclosed that some of their arrangements with physicians for violated the federal Anti-Kickback Statute because they did not meet the requirements of the relevant safe harbors. Criminal charges against our client were declined, and we worked to address the civil and administrative issues to provide a global resolution. We entered into negotiations with the Government and ultimately settled for an amount that was agreeable to our client.