WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced March 29 that SightLine Health LLC, which operates radiation therapy centers throughout the country and has its headquarters in Texas, will pay up to $11.5 million after allegedly violating the False Claims Act’s Anti-Kickback Statute.
“Investment arrangements that are structured to improperly compensate physicians for referrals can encourage physicians to make decisions based on financial gain rather than the best interest of their patients,” Chad A. Readler, acting assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, said in a statement. “The Department of Justice is committed to preventing illegal inducements, in whatever form, that undermine the integrity of our public health programs.”
According to the Justice Department, SightLine targeted physicians who could refer patients to its cancer treatment centers. SightLine allegedly paid these physicians for referrals by forming a series of leasing companies in which the physicians could invest.
“As the professionals charged with recommending and referring medical procedures for our community, physicians’ primary motivation must remain the well-being of their patients,” U.S. attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in a statement. “[This] settlement demonstrates our determination to eliminate complex business ventures that improperly interpose financial considerations into our physicians’ medical judgment.”