Vanguard Health Systems to pay $2.9M to resolve false claims, kickback allegations

Vanguard Health Systems, which was purchased by Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare in 2013, has agreed to pay $2.9 million in civil damages to settle allegations it violated the Anti-Kickback Statute, the False Claims Act and Stark Law, according to the Department of Justice.

The settlement resolves allegations that Vanguard-owned Arizona Heart Institute in Phoenix submitted false claims to the Medicare program by knowingly paying certain physicians salaries and bonuses that were above fair market value and in violation of the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute.

The settlement also resolves allegations that AHI physicians upcoded billing for evaluation and management patient visits in order to be paid more than the allowable amount for the services provided, according to the DOJ.

The lawsuit was originally brought under the qui tam, or whistle-blower, provision of the False Claims Act.

Although Vanguard has agreed to this settlement, there has been no determination of liability in this matter.

More articles on health law:

Ex-UPMC supervisor indicted in fraud case
Ex-president of Texas hospital sentenced to 45 years in prison
Criminal investigation of Tenet hospitals: 5 things to know

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