The Department of Justice has announced that Lorain County, Ohio EMH Regional Medical Center (EMH) and North Ohio Heart Center Inc. (NOHC) have both agreed to settle allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare and will pay the United States $3,864,857 and $541,870, respectively.
The lawsuit alleges that between 2001 and 2006, EMH, a non-profit community hospital, and NOHC, at the time an independent physician group practicing at EMH, performed unnecessary cardiac procedures on Medicare patients. According to the Justice Department, angioplasty and stent placement procedures were performed on heart disease patients who did not need either procedure.
This settlement is part of the Department of Justice (USDOJ) and the Department of Health and Human Services’ effort to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid fraud. To this effect, Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the USDOJ Civil Division, stated:
“Billing Medicare for cardiac procedures that are not necessary or appropriate contributes to the soaring costs of health care and puts patients at risk. The settlement demonstrates the Department of Justice’s efforts both to protect public funds and safeguard Medicare beneficiaries.”
The Employment Law Group® law firm’s whistleblower attorneys have helped many clients file suit against employers that fraudulently bill the U.S. government, and have established favorable precedents under the retaliation provision of the False Claims Act.