Co-founder of Forest Park Medical Center pleads guilty in kickback case

Richard Toussaint, MD, co-founder of physician-owned Forest Park Medical Center in Dallas, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to pay and receive healthcare kickbacks and one count of commercial bribery, according to D Magazine

Dr. Toussaint was one of 21 defendants charged in a federal indictment in 2016 for their alleged involvement in a bribe and kickback scheme that involved paying surgeons, lawyers and others for referring patients to Forest Park Medical Center's six facilities, which were all out of network with payers. Those involved in the scheme allegedly paid and/or received $40 million in bribes and kickbacks for referring patients. The fraud results in more than $500 million in patient charges and FPMC collecting more than $200 million.

Dr. Toussaint agreed to plead guilty in the case in exchange for a prison sentence of no more than 10 years. The plea deal includes a factual resume, which Dr. Toussaint signed and verified, according to D Magazine.

FPMC fell into financial trouble in 2015, and its hospitals filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in late 2015 and early 2016. The facts laid out in Dr. Toussaint's plea deal reveal FPMC's financial meltdown came after several surgeons allegedly involved in the kickback scheme decided to stop referring patients to FPMC facilities, according to the report.

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