Maryland's St. Joseph Medical Center to Pay $22M to Settle False Claims, Kickback Allegations

St. Joseph Medical Center in Towson, Md., has agreed to pay the United States $22 million to settle allegations under the False Claims Act that it paid kickbacks and violated the Stark Law when it entered into a professional services contract with MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates, according to a news release by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The settlement resolves allegations of the payment of kickbacks to Pikesville, Md.-based MidAtlantic under the guise of professional services agreements in return for the group's referrals to the medical center. The settlement specifically resolves issues related to 11 professional services agreements, covering the period of Jan. 1, 1996 to Jan. 1, 2006, which were being investigated for being above fair market value, not commercially reasonable or for services not rendered.

As part of the settlement, the hospital also agreed to settle allegations that it received reimbursement from federal health benefit programs between Jan 1, 2008 and May 12, 2010, for medically unnecessary stents performed by Mark Midei, MD, a one time partner in MACVA who was later employed by SJMC.

Saint Joseph's also signed a corporate integrity agreement with HHS' Office of Inspector General, requiring SJMC to engage in activities that will help ensure accurate billing and appropriate relationships with referral sources.

The settlement stems from a whistleblower suit brought forth by a group of competing cardiologists.

Read the DOJ release on St. Joseph Medical Center.

Read previous coverage on St. Joseph Medical Center:

- Investigation by Maryland Officials Alleges Several Cardiologists in the State Performed Stent Procedures at Suspiciously High Rates

- Maryland's St. Joseph Medical Hit With More Than 100 Malpractice Claims After Alleged Unnecessary Stent Procedures

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