FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2002
TDD (202) 514-1888
SEVEN HOSPITALS TO PAY U.S. OVER $6.3 MILLION TO SETTLE FALSE CLAIMS ACT CASE
WASHINGTON, DC– Seven hospitals have agreed to pay the United States more than $6.3 million to settle allegations that the facilities unlawfully charged federal health care programs for surgical procedures using experimental cardiac devices, the Justice Department announced today. The Department alleged that between 1987 and 1994, the hospitals had violated the False Claims Act by charging the government for medical procedures that were not properly reimbursable. The hospitals all denied wrongdoing.
Scripps Health, which owns Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla, California and Scripps Green Hospital in San Diego, has agreed to pay the United States $3.8 million. UPMC Health System, owner of Presbyterian Hospital and Shadyside Hospital in Pittsburgh, agreed to pay $1.5 million. Oklahoma City's INTEGRIS Baptist Medical Center will pay $629,000. Additionally, Hoag Hospital in Newport Beach, California will pay $305,000, while St. Joseph's Regional Medical Center in South Bend, Indiana, agreed to pay $107,000.
These hospitals and over one hundred others had been named as defendants in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Kevin Cosens, a former medical device salesman. Under the False Claims Act, private citizens can bring suit on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery obtained by the government. Mr. Cosens will receive more than $1 million of the settlements announced today.
The government has previously entered into settlements with sixteen other hospitals named as defendants in the case for a total of roughly $29 million. The government is continuing to investigate a number of other hospitals in the case.
The government's investigation was conducted by the Justice Department's Civil Division; the United States Attorney's Offices in San Diego and Los Angeles, California; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; Dyer, Indiana; and Seattle, Washington; as well as the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.