Corporate Compliance

Medical center to pay $1.9M to settle fraud claims

Compliance Monitor, January 16, 2008

Lafayette General Medical Center (LGMC), located in Lafayette, LA, will pay $1.9 million to settle claims it helped defraud Medicare and Medicaid by performing unnecessary cardiology procedures, according to a press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ).

The DOJ claims LGMC made claims for payment to federal health plans in connection with medically unnecessary elective angiogram, angioplasty and stenting procedures between 1999 and 2004. The DOJ alleges LGMC knew a physician was performing the unnecessary procedures and failed to take action. A cardiologist at LGMC brought the alleged violations to the government's attention.

"Hospitals will be held accountable when they fail in their primary mission to care for their patients appropriately, ethically and respectfully," U.S. Attorney Donald Washington said in the press release. "This matter should send a strong message to all healthcare providers, particularly hospitals, that they owe a very important duty to both their patients and the federal programs from whom they seek payment to act responsibly."

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