Thursday, July 30, 2009

Hospital Settles Whistle Blowing Suit

One industry which was unshaken by the global financial crisis is the health care industry.

Regardless of the economic conditions, people go to the hospitals or medical providers to be treated from various illnesses.

But some hospitals have gone beyond the dictates of ethics and morality by violating the Medicare’s anti-kick back rules.

The Tulare Regional Medical Center and its parent, the Tulare District Healthcare System agreed to settle a whistle blowing suit for $2.4 million. The complaint alleged that both provided doctors with office rent and land sale considerably below fair-market value. The hospital and the health care system were also alleged to forgive debts in lieu of patient referrals to the hospital.

The allegations were raised in the suit by hospital district's former chief financial officer, Maria Lucy Reimche. As a whistle-blower, she will be given $500,000 as part of the settlement.

The settlement was made without any admission of wrongdoing. Patric Hooper, the hospital’s counsel, claimed that the allegations happened under the previous management. As the hospital is now under new management, Hooper said that any arrangements with the doctors would now comply with the federal law.

Whistle blowing is encouraged to expose any wrongdoing or to make public any concealed misconduct on the part of an organization.

Should you be involved in a whistle blowing case and your employer retaliated against you, you may consult an employment attorney to defend your cause.