Radiologists accuse Montana hospital of False Claims Act violations

In a lawsuit made public last week, two radiologists allege Bozeman (Mont.) Health Deaconess Hospital submitted millions of dollars in false claims to government payers as part of an illegal kickback scheme, according to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle.  

In the suit, the radiologists claim the hospital entered into a "sham" joint venture with a local radiology group that was exploring opening an outpatient imaging center. To maintain its monopoly on radiology services, BHDH convinced the radiology group to abandon its plan to open the outpatient imaging center. BHDH bribed the radiology group with referrals and received payment for those referrals, according to the article.

In a statement to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the hospital said, "While we will defend our organization and its long-standing integrity, our primary focus remains on serving our patients and communities with high quality, high reliability and high value to improve community health and quality of life."

The federal and state governments have the option to intervene in whistle-blower case.

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