United States Files False Claims Act Complaint Against Bournewood Health Systems and First Psychiatric Planners
BOSTON – The U.S. Attorney’s Office has reached a $100,000 settlement with Brockton Urology Clinic LLC (Brockton Urology), a physician practice located in North Easton, to resolve allegations that it violated federal health care laws resulting in false claims to Medicare.
As detailed in the settlement agreement, in 2011, Brockton Urology entered into an agreement with a Massachusetts hospital which obligated Brockton Urology to administer a “Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence” at said hospital. However, as Brockton Urology admits, the hospital never created a Prostate Cancer Center of Excellence and Brockton Urology never provided a physician to serve as the director of a Prostate Cancer Program. Yet from April 2011 through December 2017, the hospital paid Brockton Urology purportedly pursuant to the agreement and Brockton Urology referred patients to the hospital.
The United States contends that this course of conduct constitutes an unlawful financial relationship between Brockton Urology, a party that referred health services, and the hospital, the entity that billed Medicare for those services. Through this violation of the law, Brockton Urology caused the submission of false claims to Medicare.
“Strict adherence to federal laws and regulations concerning the administration of our health care system is critical,” said United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “These safeguards are designed to protect the United States government from waste, fraud, and abuse. Our Office and its law-enforcements partners are vigilant in our efforts to stop anyone—hospitals, corporations, and even physician practices—that might be cutting corners and failing to follow our health care laws.”
“This settlement sends a clear message that these types of financial arrangements will not be tolerated. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to ensure that all medical providers properly follow health care rules and regulations,” said Phillip M. Coyne, Special Agent in Charge for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. “I appreciate the partnership with the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office in identifying and prosecuting this type of fraud.”
“The False Claims Act exists to protect the wallets of hard-working taxpayers,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division. “This settlement with Brockton Urology is a result of our continued efforts to protect the integrity of our health care programs for the patients who depend on them.”
U.S. Attorney Rollins, HHS-OIG SAC Coyne and FBI SAC Bonavolonta made the announcement today. The Department of Defense’s Office of the Inspector General also provided assistance. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Charles B. Weinograd and Jessica J. Weber of Rollins’s Affirmative Civil Enforcement Unit handled the matter.