Beaumont Health physicians named in $84.5M settlement lawyer up: 6 things to know

Three physicians affiliated with Southfield, Mich.-based Beaumont Health are defending themselves after being named in the system's recent $84.5 million settlement with the U.S. Justice Department, according to a Detroit Free Press report.

Six things to know:

1. On Aug. 2, Beaumont Health agreed to pay the federal government and state of Michigan $84.5 million to resolve claims of improper physician relationships. The government alleged from 2004 to 2012 Beaumont Health hospitals in Royal Oak, Troy and Grosse Pointe, Mich., submitted false claims resulting from improper relationships with eight referring physicians. The government alleged hospitals made improper payments to the referring physicians that were "substantially in excess of fair market value."

2. Joel Kahn, MD, Dinesh Shah, MD, and Renato Ramos, MD, were named in the settlement among the accused physicians.

3. Now, Drs. Kahn, Shah and Ramos, all cardiologists, are claiming innocence. The Free Press reports they contend no wrongdoing and hired counsel to help defend them.

4. Their counsel, Martin Crandall of Clark Hill in Detroit, told the Free Press: "They were shocked to hear that they were identified as wrongdoers. The essence of the whistle-blower complaint is that there were freebies given to doctors. None of them got any of these alleged freebies, yet they end up in the settlement agreement."

5. The physicians' attorney said his clients want to know why their names were part of the settlement, and he doesn't know whether they will take legal action.

6. Beaumont Health told the Free Press the federal government provided details in the settlement.

 "When the government decides to initiate an investigation such as with this matter, it often investigates additional issues and individuals other than those identified in the initial complaint filed by a plaintiff," the health system said. "The investigation here was similar and was conducted over seven years under a confidentiality seal, which restricted us from communications about the lawsuits and the investigation, including informing physicians who were mentioned in the complaints."

Access the full Free Press article here


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