More False Claims Act Cases Alleging Stark Law Violations Likely, Say Lawyers
In other marketplace news, a DaVita subsidiary -- RMS Lifeline -- is under Justice Department scrutiny regarding the medical necessity of certain procedures performed at two of its Florida centers.
Whistle-Blower Worries: Hospitals Likely To See More False Claims Suits Tied To Doctor Compensation
Dr. Michael Reilly's lawyer gave his client strong advice after reviewing a lucrative employment contract that the North Broward Hospital District offered him 15 years ago. “I should throw this in the trash,” Reilly, a now-retired orthopedic surgeon, recalls the attorney telling him. The contract, the lawyer said, had major problems, including that it violated the federal Stark law, which bars physicians from referring Medicare patients to hospitals, labs and other doctors that the physicians have financial relationships with unless they fall under certain circumstances. (Schencker, 11/21)
Justice Department Investigating DaVita Subsidiary
The U.S. Justice Department is investigating the medical necessity of angiograms performed at a DaVita HealthCare Partners subsidiary, the company disclosed Wednesday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The False Claims Act investigation centers on the medical necessity of the procedures performed at two Florida centers that are part of RMS Lifeline, a DaVita subsidiary that provides vascular access management services for dialysis patients, according to the filing. The Justice Department has asked for medical records for 10 patients, among other documents, from January of 2008 through the present. (Schencker and Rice, 11/20)
Meanwhile, KQED reports on how hospitals may begin to use fingerprint-identification technology to verify patient identities and even crack down on fraud -
Would You Trust A Hospital To Scan Your Fingerprint?
Soon, it might become the norm to verify your identity at the hospital or clinic by scanning your fingerprint. One California clinic, the Kern County Medical Center in Bakersfield, recently started experimenting with a biometric fingerprint reader, called SafeChx, to avoid mixing up patients with similar names, and potentially even crack down on fraud. It’s the first hospital in California to use the SafeChx system. (Farr, 11/23)