“Steward Health Care to Settle Kickback Allegations for $4.7 Million after Hingham Doc Blows Whistle,” The Patriot Ledger
June 09, 2022
The owner of the former Quincy Medical Center has agreed to pay $4.7 million to settle Medicare and Medicaid kickback allegations brought after an investigation of claims by three whistleblowers, including a Hingham doctor.
The whistleblowers, including Hingham Dr. Olivia Lanna, alleged that Steward Health Care paid specialists for services that were not performed and rented space from providers to induce patient referrals to its Accountable Care Organization.
The whistleblowers filed a False Claims Act lawsuit on behalf of the federal and state governments in Boston federal court in 2018.
According to a statement from the Washington, D.C.-based law firm Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll, which represented the whistleblowers, Steward accepted responsibility for three actions:
Steward failed to charge the "proper rent” on leases it had with about 50 physicians, physician organizations and non-physician organizations resulting in rent payments below fair market value, a possible violation of an anti-kickback statute prohibiting physician self-referrals.