US Attorney’s Office – Eastern District of Texas, Jan. 20, 2022
Hospital CEO Excluded from Federal Healthcare Programs for Three Years
SHERMAN, Texas – Seven Texas doctors and a hospital executive have agreed to pay a total of $1,106,449 to resolve False Claims Act allegations involving illegal remuneration in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law, and to cooperate with the Department’s investigations of and litigation against other parties, announced Eastern District of Texas U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston today.
“Paying kickbacks to physicians distorts the medical decision-making process, corrupts our healthcare system, and increases the cost of healthcare funded by the taxpayer,” said U.S. Attorney Brit Featherston. “Laboratories, marketers, and physicians cannot immunize their conduct by attempting to disguise the kickbacks as some sort of investment arrangement. Our office is committed to looking through the disguise and putting an end to any arrangement where the purpose is to improperly influence medical decision making through the payment of kickbacks.”
The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid, and other federally funded programs. The Stark Law forbids a hospital or laboratory from billing Medicare for certain services referred by physicians that have a financial relationship with the hospital or laboratory. The Anti-Kickback Statute and the Stark Law are intended to ensure that medical providers’ judgments are not compromised by improper financial incentives and are instead based on the best interests of their patients.