Hospital settles whistleblower Medicare fraud suit for $80-$90 million

Halifax Health and the U.S. Department of Justice settled part of a whistleblower lawsuit today as trial was about to begin in a Florida Federal Court. The suit alleged a decade of illegal kickbacks to doctors and it also alleged Medicare fraud.

This case, first of two separate trials, focused on allegations that payments were made to six cancer doctors and three neurosurgeons violating the Stark Act, making it illegal for doctors to financially benefit from referring patients for hospital care.

The second trial, set for July of this year, will focus on allegations that for a decade, the hospital made it a practice to admit patients to the hospital who did not need to be admitted, then billing Medicare and Medicaid. The suit was filed in 2009 by Halifax Health Employee Elin Baklid-Kunz, former compliance officer for the 678 bed hospital. She stands to receive about 20% of the recovery which in the first part would be about $17 million.

Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.