Texas hospital will pay $18.2M to settle false claims case

Flower Mound (Texas) Hospital has agreed to pay $18.2 million to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by submitting claims to government payers that resulted from violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law, the Justice Department announced Dec. 2. 

The settlement resolves allegations that Flower Mound Hospital, a partially physician-owned facility, violated the Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law when it repurchased shares from physician-owners aged 63 or older and then resold those shares to younger physicians. Prosecutors allege that hospital leaders took into account the volume or value of physicians' referrals when selecting which physicians to resell the shares to and determining the number of shares each physician would receive. 

The allegations were originally brought by a physician-owner of the hospital under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act. 

In connection with the settlement, the hospital entered into a five-year corporate integrity agreement with HHS' OIG. The agreement requires the hospital to maintain a compliance program and hire an independent review organization to examine arrangements entered into by the hospital. It also requires compliance-related certifications from key hospital executives, according to the Justice Department.

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