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September 24, 2020

West Virginia Acute Care Hospital Agrees To Pay $50 Million To Settle Allegations Concerning Improper Compensation To Referring Physicians

Wheeling Hospital Inc., an acute care hospital located in Wheeling, West Virginia, has agreed to pay the United States a total of $50 million to resolve claims that it violated the False Claims Act by knowingly submitting claims to the Medicare program. These claims resulted from alleged systematic violations of the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute by knowingly and willfully paying improper compensation to referring physicians that was based on the volume or value of the physicians’ referrals or was above fair market value. The settlement stems from a whistleblower complaint filed in 2017 pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private persons to bring a lawsuit on behalf of the government and to share in the proceeds of the suit.  The whistle blower will receive $10 million from the settlement.