Oklahoma hospital, physician group will pay $72M to settle false claims case

A specialty hospital in Oklahoma City, its management company and a physician group have agreed to pay $72.3 million to resolve false claims allegations, according to the Department of Justice

The settlement resolves allegations that Oklahoma Center for Orthopaedic and Multi-Specialty Surgery and its management company made improper payments to Oklahoma City-based Southwest Orthopaedic Specialists and some of its physicians in exchange for patient referrals. The payments were allegedly provided in the form of free or below fair market value office space, compensation in excess of fair market value, equity buyback provisions and preferential investment opportunities.

The allegedly improper payments occurred between 2006 and 2018 and resulted in the submission of false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare, according to the Justice Department.

The allegations were originally brought in a lawsuit filed under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. 

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