LAWFUEL – Law News, Law Jobs Network – R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced today that Larkin Community Hospital and others have paid $15.4 million to settle a lawsuit alleging that they performed medically unnecessary procedures on patients residing in assisted living facilities, and unnecessarily admitted them to Larkin, in order to defraud Medicare and Medicaid.
The suit also alleged that Larkin paid kickbacks to certain physicians to induce them to admit their patients to Larkin. The conduct charged in the complaint occurred between 1997 and 1999.
U.S. Attorney Acosta said, “It is bad enough that scarce Medicare and Medicaid funds were spent on medically unnecessary care, but it is far worse that elderly patients were purposely subjected to painful and uncomfortable procedures and hospitalizations just to generate extra revenue for the hospital and others. Such conduct is unconscionable, and we will vigorously prosecute any physician, hospital or other health care worker who engages in such fraud.”
Mr. Acosta commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Office of Inspector General of the Department of Health and Human Services. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey W. Dickstein and by Alicia J. Bentley, DOJ, Civil Division, Commercial Litigation Branch.