Corporate Compliance

LSU healthcare center settles false claims charges

Compliance Monitor, July 8, 2009

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center-Shreveport (LSUHSC) will pay $706,000 to settle allegations that the teaching hospital billed Medicare for services that were not provided, according to an article in the Shreveport Times.
Former LSUHSC employees William Overdyke M.D., a teaching physician in the hospital's orthopedic department, and Susan Belgert Hodnett, the orthopedic head nurse, alleged LSUHSC teaching physicians submitted claims stating they assisted residents in surgical procedures, but were in fact never present during the procedures. According to the article, the physicians and the hospital would then divide the reimbursement.
Overdike and Hodnett filed the charges in October 2002, and according to the article, both whistleblowers were fired within a year of the filing. The False Claims Act protects whistleblowers from being discriminated against by their employers. Overdike and Hodnett will split $141,335 from the settlement and plan to file another suit to collect lost wages, lost benefits, damage to their reputations, and other items allowed by state and federal whistleblower protection laws.

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