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Monday, November 18, 2019

Pa. hospital settles FCA allegations for $662K

By Jim Boyle | Jan 7, 2015

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PHILADELPHIA (Legal Newsline) - Northampton Hospital Company, LLC and Northampton Hospital Corporation, owners and operators of Easton Hospital in Northampton County, Pa., have agreed to a $662,000 settlement with the government to resolve allegations of health care fraud arising under the False Claims Act.

Based on reports provided by two whistleblowers, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania accused Easton Hospital of billing Medicare for procedures performed by Dr. Thomas Walden, including extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy, cystometrogram, green light laser and transurethral resection of the prostate.

According to the United States, some of these procedures were not performed, were only partially completed or were medically unnecessary. Easton Hospital denied the allegations.

Easton Hospital provides inpatient and outpatient healthcare services in Easton. The hospital’s services include cardiovascular, orthopedic, oncology, maternal, child health, pediatric, physical therapy rehabilitation, and mental health services. In addition, it offers surgical care, emergency care, occupational and speech therapy, wound healing management, imaging, radiology, home health, hospice, and laboratory services.

While employed at Easton Hospital, two former employees allegedly discovered a Medicare fraud scheme. Specifically, these employees alleged urologic procedures and tests performed by Dr. Walden for which the government should not have been billed.

The two employees filed a complaint in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act. The qui tam provisions permit private citizens to bring civil actions on behalf of the United States.

Under the parties’ settlement agreement, Easton Hospital will pay $662,000 to the United States. The two whistleblowing employees will receive a share of the settlement payment.

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