MedStar will pay $35M to settle kickback allegations

Columbia, Md.-based MedStar Health and two of its hospitals have agreed to pay $35 million to resolve allegations that they paid illegal kickbacks to a cardiology group, according to the Department of Justice.

The settlement resolves allegations that MedStar paid kickbacks to Pikesville, Md.-based MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates in exchange for referring patients to MedStar Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore for cardiovascular procedures. Those kickbacks were allegedly paid between Jan. 1, 2006, and July 31, 2011.

MedStar also settled allegations that it received Medicare payments for medically unnecessary stents performed by a physician who was employed by MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates and later worked at MedStar.

The settlement resolves two whistleblower lawsuits — one filed in 2010 by cardiac surgeons and another filed in 2012 by former MedStar patients.

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