- A tentative $1-million agreement has been reached in the Halifax whistleblower case. The suit accuses the public health system of overcharging Medicare, to the tune of $72.5 million in damages.
- The suit claims that Halifax knowingly entered into contracts with six oncologists that included improper incentive bonuses, violating both the False Claims Act and the Stark Law. Halifax is also alleged to have paid three neurosurgeons at above-market value; and to have admitted patients inappropriately and billed Medicare for their care.
- The lawsuit, filed in 2009, will be resolved if the Halifax Board of Directors approves the agreement.
Because of the scope of the suit, U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell divided the case into two trials; one for the inappropriate compensation and bonuses paid to the nine physicians, and one for the unnecessary admissions and fraudulent billing practices. The first case was settled in March for $85 million; this possible agreement reflects a close to the second case. In addition to the settlement funds, Halifax has also spent over $24 million on legal fees, plus $5.4 million for the whistle-blower's fees.
The federal government must approve the pending agreement, providing objections no later than July 21.