Ohio Treatment Facilities and Corporate Parent Agree to Pay $10.25 Million to Resolve False Claims Act Allegations of Kickbacks to Patients and Unnecessary Admissions
(STL.News) Oglethorpe Inc. and its three Ohio facilities, Cambridge Behavioral Hospital, Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital, and The Woods at Parkside, will pay $10.25 million to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act for improperly providing free long-distance transportation to patients and admitting patients at Cambridge and Ridgeview who did not require inpatient psychiatric treatment, resulting in the submission of false claims to the Medicare program.
Oglethorpe Inc. is a Florida company that operates two Ohio inpatient psychiatric hospitals, Cambridge and Ridgeview, and one Ohio substance abuse treatment facility, Parkside. The settlement was based on analysis of the companies’ ability to pay after review of their financial condition.
This settlement resolves allegations that, between August 2013 and June 2019, defendants provided free long-distance van transportation to patients to induce them to seek treatment at the defendants’ facilities, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Statute, and then submitted claims for services provided to these patients, in violation of the False Claims Act. The Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits offering, paying, soliciting, or receiving remuneration to induce referrals of items or services covered by a federal health care program, such as Medicare, Medicaid or TRICARE.