West Virginia hospital, CEO hit with kickback suit

The Department of Justice has filed a complaint against Wheeling (W.Va.) Hospital, the hospital's CEO and business consulting group R & V Associates.

The Justice Department filed the complaint after joining a whistleblower lawsuit against the hospital in December. A former executive vice president of Wheeling Hospital originally brought the lawsuit in December 2017.

The lawsuit alleges R & V and Wheeling Hospital CEO Ronald Violi caused the hospital to violate the Stark Law and the Anti-Kickback Statute. The Justice Department specifically alleges the hospital violated the statutes by basing compensation for certain physicians on the volume or value of their referrals to the hospital. The Justice Department further alleges certain physicians received compensation above fair market value.

In a statement to WTOV, hospital officials said they will defend against the allegations.

"As we have said before, the allegations in this lawsuit are simply not true and an unfair attack on our hospital, our values and our dedicated physicians who partner with us to provide care to our community," a hospital spokesperson told WTOV. "We stand by our physicians and will aggressively defend against these baseless and unsubstantiated claims, while remaining fully committed to providing world-class care to the citizens of Wheeling and the Upper Ohio Valley every day."

Earlier this month, the hospital filed a federal lawsuit against Louis Longo, the former executive vice president who filed the whistleblower lawsuit. The hospital is suing Mr. Longo for breach of fiduciary duty and abuse of process.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:

Physicians sue Tenet, Detroit Medical Center, allege cost-cutting led to patient deaths
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MedStar will pay $35M to settle kickback allegations




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