West Virginia hospital sues ex-EVP whistle-blower

Wheeling (W.Va.) Hospital announced March 18 it has filed a federal lawsuit against its former executive vice president, claiming he breached his fiduciary duty, among other allegations.

Four things to know:

1. Wheeling Hospital's complaint alleges that Louis Longo filed "baseless" false claims litigation against the hospital and that Mr. Longo allegedly hoped "to obtain a quick and plentiful settlement."

"As a Catholic hospital, we expect every member of our staff, as well as our partners, to conduct themselves with honor and integrity. We are pursuing action against Mr. Longo for his purported dishonest conduct, and we will vigorously defend our hospital and physicians against the fraudulent claims he filed against us," the hospital's general counsel said in a statement.

2. Mr. Longo began working with the hospital while he was a partner and director at Deloitte and was responsible for finding and reporting fraud to the hospital's board, according to The Intelligencer. Wheeling Hospital hired him as an executive vice president in 2011.

3. Mr. Longo's lawsuit alleged that the hospital improperly paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to physicians and overcompensated certain staff to gain referrals, The Intelligencer reports. The allegations made by Mr. Longo resulted in a whistle-blower lawsuit against the hospital, which the federal government joined in January.

4. However, Wheeling Hospital alleges that "at no time … did [Mr. Longo] ever express to Wheeling Hospital that Deloitte's audit activities had identified fraud or the risk of fraud with respect to Wheeling Hospital's physician contracts," according to a copy of Wheeling Hospital's lawsuit obtained by The Intelligencer.

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