Federal Government Joins Hospital Whistleblower Lawsuit

The U.S. federal government announced it will join a lawsuit against a hospital in West Virginia. The lawsuit alleges the hospital improperly issued payments and kickbacks to doctors under the supervision and direction of its CEO and management firm.

The lawsuit became public for the first time in late December, after it was initially filed in 2017. The U.S. Department of Justice filed a notice with the federal district court that it would intervene in the case, which resulted in the court documents being unsealed.

Lawsuit says hospital had illegal compensation program

In the lawsuit, the plaintiff claims Wheeling Hospital’s physician compensation program violated federal law, including the False Claims Act and the Anti-Kickback Statute, in that it improperly paid out millions of dollars in excessive compensation based on the value and/or volume of patient referrals. Some physicians were compensated more than $1 million per year under the illegal system, which would mean Medicaid and Medicare could have been defrauded of millions of dollars since the alleged scheme began in 2008.

Officials from the hospital released a statement calling the complaint meritless, arguing that it comes from the “personal vendetta of a disgruntled former employee.” Wheeling rebukes all claims that Wheeling violated federal law in any way.

Healthcare fraud costs the government billions of dollars every year. If you work for a healthcare organization and have collected evidence of fraud, meet with an experienced whistleblower lawyer at Kardell Law Group for further guidance and to determine next steps.