A federal judge has ruled in favor of an Opelika, Ala., hospital in a multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed by a former hospital engineer.
U.S. District Judge John Moore in Montgomery, Ala., said April 13 that attorneys for Max Stevens did not provide sufficient evidence to back allegations that East Alabama Medical Center filed false claims to Medicaid and Medicare.
"In the issue of Mr. Stevens' credibility, the court finds credibility lacking," Moore said. "I find that his motivation in this case is more about dollars than the welfare of the people involved."
The hospital's attorney, Scott Camp of Houston, asked for a dismissal on April 10 after Stevens' attorney, David Llewellyn, rested his case.
Stevens claimed in his lawsuit the hospital converted 66 beds to administrative offices without notifying the proper state agencies and continued to be reimbursed by Medicare and Medicaid as if the rooms were still housing patients.
The lawsuit contended East Alabama bought equipment and made renovations without getting the required certificate of need from the state. Hospitals must comply with state and federal regulations before receiving Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements.
"There was a complete and thorough investigation, during which EAMC was open and cooperative, and EAMC maintained its license throughout," Camp said.
Stevens' attorneys said they will appeal the ruling.