FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 21, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
TEXAS, WASHINGTON, OREGON & FLORIDA HOSPITALS
TO PAY U.S. $4.9 MILLION IN CARDIAC DEVICES LITIGATION
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The United States has reached settlements with five hospitals in Texas, Washington, Oregon and Florida to pay the United States $4.9 million for the alleged billing of Medicare for medical procedures involving experimental cardiac devices, the Justice Department announced today. The suits allege that between 1986 and 1995, the hospitals unlawfully charged Medicare for procedures using the experimental devices which had not been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, in violation of the False Claims Act.
The case was originally brought by whistleblower Kevin Cosens, a former medical device salesman, against more than 100 hospital defendants. The government and Mr. Cosens have previously settled with 29 other defendants and continue to pursue their claims against 40 hospital defendants.
The Methodist Hospital and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston, Texas agreed to pay the United States $2.75 million and $575,000, respectively. Deaconess Medical Center - Spokane in Washington will pay $775,000. Legacy Good Samaritan Hospital and Medical Center in Portland, Oregon will pay $410,000. Orlando Regional Medical Center in Florida agreed to pay $390,000. This latest group of settlements brings to over $45 million the total settlements collected in the nationwide cardiac devices false claims litigation.
Mr. Cosens will receive almost $1 million of the settlements announced today. 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.
This case was handled by the Justice Department's Civil Division; the United States Attorneys' Offices in Houston, Texas; Spokane, Washington; Portland, Oregon; and Orlando, Florida; as well as the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services.