D O J Seal
U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Northern District of Texas

1100 Commerce St., 3rd Fl.
Dallas, Texas 75242-1699



Telephone (214) 659-8600
Fax (214) 767-0978

CONTACT: 214/659-8600
NOVEMBER 28, 2006


United States Attorney Richard B. Roper announced that Integris Baptist Medical Center, Inc. and Integris Health, Inc. have agreed to pay the United States $12,200,000.00 to resolve allegations they violated the False Claims Act by submitting inflated claims to the Medicare program in their annual cost reports. Integris Baptist Medical Center is a not-for-profit health organization located in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma and it operates the state’s largest Medicare certified Heart, Liver, and Kidney transplant program. Integris Health, Inc. is the parent corporation for Integris Baptist Medical Center.

This settlement resolves allegations that Integris Baptist Medical Center and Integris Health (“Integris”) submitted false claims in their annual Medicare cost reports that included inflated costs related to Integris’ organ transplant department. The complaint alleged that Integris improperly sought payment from Medicare for post-transplant and non-transplant related costs that Integris knew were not reimbursable under the Medicare program. It was also alleged Integris sought Medicare reimbursement for liver and heart organ acquisition costs related to transplant services that were provided to patients who were not Medicare beneficiaries.

The United States initiated the investigation in response to a whistleblower action brought by Frank Heckenkemper, a former contractor of Integris. Under the False Claims Act, private individuals can bring whistleblower actions for fraud on behalf of the United States, and collect a share of any proceeds recovered by the suit and attorney fees. Mr. Heckenkemper will receive $2.3 million as a share of the recovery under the settlement.

The entities have agreed to a Certification of Compliance Agreement with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. The Compliance Agreement
requires Integris to adhere to certain policies and procedures to ensure compliance with applicable statutes and regulations that govern the use of federal health care funds.

The settlement is the culmination of a joint investigation involving agents, auditors, and attorneys from the United States Attorneys Office for the Northern District of Texas; the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Division; and the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

The case is captioned United States ex rel. Frank Heckenkemper v. Integris Baptist Medical Center, Inc. and Integris Health, Inc., Case No.3:03-CV-1619-L (W.D. Okla.).