SAN FRANCISCO – St. Helena Hospital, an acute care hospital within the Adventist Health System, has agreed to pay the United States $2,250,000 to settle allegations that it submitted false claims to Medicare for certain cardiac procedures and related inpatient admissions, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced today.
The settlement resolves allegations that St. Helena Hospital knowingly charged Medicare for medically unnecessary percutaneous coronary interventions during the period Jan. 1, 2008 through July 31, 2011. Percutaneous coronary intervention, commonly referred to as angioplasty, is a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart. The United States also alleged that St. Helena Hospital unnecessarily admitted angioplasty patients who should have been treated on a less costly, outpatient basis.
This settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California by Kacie Carroll, a former employee of St. Helena Hospital, under the qui tam or whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private citizens to bring lawsuits on behalf of the United States and obtain a portion of the government’s recovery. Carroll will receive $450,000.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven J. Saltiel handled the matter on behalf of the U.S. Attorney?s Office, with the assistance of Michael Zehr and Kathy Terry.
The case is captioned United States ex rel. Carroll v. Adventist Health Systems, et al., Case No. CV-10-4925 DMR. The claims resolved by this settlement are allegations only and there has been no determination of liability.