Search Site

11th Circuit Brings Back Part of Whistleblower Suit

According to the ruling of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, a former health care executive that exposed a kickback and illegal referral scheme by his employer will be allowed to proceed with certain allegations listed in his False Claims Act lawsuit against his ex-employer.


J. Michael Mastej, the whistleblower in this case, alleges that his former employer, Health Management Associates, Inc., violated the Stark Law and paid out kickbacks during his employment with the company. Mastej was an executive with the organization from 2007 to early 2007, and became intimately familiar with the various operational aspects associated with the alleged fraud.


He filed his qui tam complaint alleging that the organization violated the Stark Law and the anti-kickback statute by making illegal payments to six different neurosurgeons and offering all-expenses-paid golf trips to four other doctors on Health Management’s private jet with the hopes of them referring Medicare patients to the company’s facilities.


The anti-kickback statute prohibits health care facilities from financially coercing people to make Medicare referrals to patients. The Stark Law also prohibits these types of referrals, focusing on preventing doctors from referring Medicare patients to a specific hospital if the doctor has a certain “financial relationship” with the hospital in question. The Stark Law also prohibits those same hospitals from sending payment claims to Medicare for services rendered to referred patients.


The alleged kickbacks in this case were extra “on-call” payments of $1,000 on weekdays and $2,000 on weekends. According to Mastej, the on-call coverage payments were unnecessary because all neurosurgeries were planned ahead of time and there were no emergency procedures performed by neurosurgeons at the hospital.


If you become aware of fraud within a health care organization, it’s important that you speak out right away. Meet with the experienced attorneys at Whistleblower Law for Managers in Dallas to secure strong legal representation as you alert the proper authorities to the fraud.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Awards & Honors
Our Office
  • Dallas Office
    4514 Cole Ave
    Dallas, Texas 75205
    Phone: 214-306-8045
    Fax: 469-729-9926
As Seen In
In his new book, "Standing Up to China: How a Whistleblower Risked Everything for His Country," former client & Author, Ashley Yablon, quotes Attorney Steve Kardell about Whistelblower Law.
  • "Steve Kardell was terrific in representing me in some very adversarial discussions with Citigroup and also later represented me in my testimony before the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission."  -Richard Bowen, Citigroup Whistleblower

  • "Incredible knowledge of employee related concerns and equally brilliant knowledge of health care regulations, standards of practice. I would recommend this firm to anyone."  -V.B.

  • "Reaching out to Steve Kardell was the best decision I made. His ability to provide immediate insight and direction was very powerful, and a huge relief during a very stressful time period. For anyone struggling with a whistleblower situation, I would highly recommend at least speaking with Steve. After a 10 minute call with him, I had a better understanding of what I was dealing with. Even better, he gave me some immediate hope. In the end Steve did a better job than I thought was possible. Steve was able to get in contact with people in my organization, that I didn’t have access to. Because of his years of experience, he already has contacts in many organizations in Dallas. The entire situation was handled peacefully. I was impressed by his ability to “keep the peace”–rather than creating a battle with the organization. The reason I didn’t reach out to a lawyer initially, was because I thought it would mean an immediate end to any hope of a positive relationship with the company. Steve was able to address my concerns, and in the end I was able to continue to work for them."  -KS

  • "Never thought my career would end like it did after 30 years of service. I was part of the first round of the so called reduction of force. I asked myself how can I be part of this with 30 years of seniority. How did they pick these 90 plus employees? Now, the culture of this organization made you question every decision they made. It wasn’t what you knew it’s was a culture of who you know. Nonetheless, I did not accept their severance package. I immediately starting looking for an attorney who would take on my case. After the initial call to Steve I had hope again. He was open and honest about everything and reassured me he would do his best for me, and he did. I had an awesome outcome. Thanks Steve you’re the best."  -S.S.