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Community Health Network accused of filing false Medicare claims

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a complaint against Community Health Network. The department says the health network submitted false Medicare claims, which violates the Stark Law. The Stark Law, according to the department, “prohibits a hospital from billing Medicare for services referred by a physician with whom the hospital has an improper financial relationship that does not meet any statutory or regulatory exception.” The complaint says the health network had a number of employment relations with physicians who did not meet the Stark Law exception. Instead, these doctors were supposedly paid “well above fair market value” and the doctors were paid a bonus after they referred a minimum number of patients to the hospital. The complaint also says that Community Health Network then submitted claims to Medicare from these referrals knowing that those claims were ineligible for payment. “Our goal at the U.S. Attorney’s Office is to serve the citizens and help ensure safety in their communities,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler for the Southern District of Indiana. “Hospitals are responsible for not only the health and well-being of their patients, but are also required to establish a compliance program in order to protect against improper payments, fraud and abuse as a condition of enrollment in the Medicare program.” 

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INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – The U.S. Department of Justice has filed a complaint against Community Health Network. The department says the health network submitted false Medicare claims, which violates the Stark Law. The Stark Law, according to the department, “prohibits a hospital from billing Medicare for services referred by a physician with whom the hospital has an improper financial relationship that does not meet any statutory or regulatory exception.” The complaint says the health network had a number of employment relations with physicians who did not meet the Stark Law exception. Instead, these doctors were supposedly paid “well above fair market value” and the doctors were paid a bonus after they referred a minimum number of patients to the hospital. The complaint also says that Community Health Network then submitted claims to Medicare from these referrals knowing that those claims were ineligible for payment. “Our goal at the U.S. Attorney’s Office is to serve the citizens and help ensure safety in their communities,” said U.S. Attorney Josh Minkler for the Southern District of Indiana. “Hospitals are responsible for not only the health and well-being of their patients, but are also required to establish a compliance program in order to protect against improper payments, fraud and abuse as a condition of enrollment in the Medicare program.” 

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