HCA settles DOJ whistleblower suit for $16.5M

HCA Holdings and the Justice Department said Wednesday have reached a $16.5 million settlement over violations of federal laws that restrict financial relationships between hospitals and physicians. The AP reports that Justice officials say two HCA doctors’ subsidiaries gave financial benefits to Diagnostic Associates of Chattanooga, a physicians group, in an effort to get more patient referrals to HCA facilities.

The case arose from a whistleblower lawsuit filed in East Tennessee. The whistleblower will receive an 18.5 percent share of the settlement money. The settlement requires Parkridge to hire an independent organization to review its business arrangements and transactions and work with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to ensure compliance with federal laws.