Suit claims hospital chain paid kickbacks

By Mike Wells
8/10/2010 © Health News Florida

A former hospital executive has accused Naples-based Health Management Associates of offering money, free rent and private jet trips to entice doctors to refer Medicare patients to the company’s hospitals.

In a whistleblower lawsuit unsealed Aug. 2 by a federal judge, former hospital CEO J. Michael Mastej also accused his former employer of filing fraudulent claims on services HMA’s facilities provided the ill-gotten Medicare patients.

His lawsuit doesn’t specify an exact number of claims, but states that the fraud spanned from at least 2007 to the present at facilities “in Florida and elsewhere.” HMA presently operates approximately 56 hospitals in 15 states.

Mastej, who now lives in Blairsville, Ga., is a former resident of Bonita Springs in Lee County. He filed the qui tam suit in January.

Read the rest of the story here.


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