7 Hospital Settlements Involving Physician Kickbacks, Referrals in 2013

In 2013, seven hospitals agreed to pay fines as part of settlements related to physician self-referral and kickback allegations.

According to the HHS Office of Inspector General, each settling hospital contested the allegations and denied liability. Here are the seven hospitals that settled physician self-referral and kickback allegations in 2013, according to the OIG. Note: All hospitals self-disclosed their conduct to the OIG.

1. Dorminy Medical Center in Fitzgerald, Ga., paid $50,000 in March. The OIG alleged Dorminy paid remuneration to a physician in the form of free use of hospital space.

2. Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore paid $50,000 in September after the OIG alleged the hospital compensated a physician-owned real estate company in the form of not collecting net profits from the company. Under an agreement with the company, Mercy was entitled to 40 percent of the profits as a joint owner of an unspecific property.

3. St. Vincent's East in Birmingham, Ala., paid $50,000 in September. According to the OIG, the hospital allegedly provided payment for durable medical equipment to a sports medicine practice, which was used for the practice's patients' inpatient stays.

4. United General Hospital in Sedro-Woolley, Wash., paid $74,067 in October. The OIG alleged the public hospital paid a physician "excessive compensation" for services performed at the facility.

5. Helen Newberry (Mich.) Joy Hospital paid $221,080.47 in November after the OIG alleged the hospital entered into "improper financial relationships" with a physician. The allegations included space lease, discounted Internet service, professional liability and health insurance, office supplies and pharmaceuticals, back-up call coverage, physician supervision and attendance at certain medical leadership meetings and not collecting interest on an outstanding loan.

6. Kishwaukee (Ill.) Hospital, part of DeKalb, Ill.-based KishHealth System, paid $230,320 in December. The OIG said the hospital allegedly paid remuneration to three medical group practices in the forms of a cash collections guarantee, startup expenses and loan forgiveness to subsidize the recruitment of three mid-level providers.

7. Havasu (Ariz.) Regional Medical Center paid $510,179.44 in December. According to the OIG, the hospital allegedly struck an agreement with a physician for a below-market rental rate of space and a provision of employee services.

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