Aria Health to pay $3M to settle False Claims Act, Stark Law matters

Aria Health has inked a $3 million agreement with the federal government after the Philadelphia-based health system self-disclosed it violated the False Claims Act and Stark Law, according to the Department of Justice.

Aria agreed to pay $564,700 to settle claims a cardiologist performed unnecessary invasive procedures on inpatients and outpatients between Oct. 1, 2012, and April 15, 2013 — the date the cardiologist agreed to terminate his employment with Aria. The health system self-disclosed this matter to the federal government in March 2014.

"Patients have a right to medical treatment that is ethical and necessary and not influenced by a physician's strategy to increase his compensation," said U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger. "In this case, Aria recognized a problem, reported it to the government, and voluntarily made internal changes to its operations."  

Aria also agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve claims it violated the False Claims Act and Stark Law by compensating a cardiac thoracic surgeon in excess of fair market value.

In addition, the settlement resolves claims Aria paid an amount in excess of fair market value for the right to use the trademark of an orthopedic group the health system acquired in December 2012.

More articles on healthcare lawsuits:

HCA strikes $2M deal to settle whistle-blower allegations
Steward claims Southcoast filed 'sham' lawsuit in battle over market share
Ex-hospital CFO files federal discrimination lawsuit in Washington

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