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March 26, 2021

Forest Park Medical Center Defendants Sentenced in Health Care Bribery Scheme

Fourteen individuals were sentenced to a total of more than 74 years in federal prison related to a $200 million bribery scheme at the now defunct Forest Park Medical Center (Forest Park). The scheme was designed to induce doctors to steer lucrative patients – particularly those with high-reimbursing, out-of-network private insurance – to Forest Park. Most of the kickbacks, which totaled more than $40 million, were disguised as consulting fees or “marketing money” doled as a percentage of surgeries each doctor referred to Forest Park. Instead of paying for out-of-network co-payments, Forest Park allegedly assured patients they would pay in-network prices. Because they knew insurers wouldn’t tolerate such practices, they concealed the patient discounts and wrote off the difference as uncollected “bad debt.” In addition to the $82.9 million restitution, the government plans to collect more than $25.5 million in money judgments against those convicted in the Forest Park scheme.