Quorum Health Group now faces a total of four civil whistleblower fraud lawsuits that allege systemic Medicare fraud, according to the company's latest annual report.
The Brentwood, Tenn.-based company continues to fight a federal lawsuit brought by a former chief financial officer at one of the chain's managed hospitals and joined by the federal government last year (April 19, p. 56).
That suit, filed in 1993, alleges widespread Medicare fraud based on the company's practice of filing reserve cost reports documenting two estimates of Medicare claims. It is the subject of mediation talks while a trial date is awaited.
Three more-recently disclosed lawsuits also allege Medicare fraud.
Of those cases, one alleges Medicare violations related to home healthcare at two of Quorum's owned hospitals, while the others allege Medicare violations at one of its owned and two of its managed hospitals. The cases are under seal, and according to Quorum's annual report, the federal government intends to investigate the allegations.
The company also reported that it has entered preliminary settlement discussions with the federal government in the home health case. Quorum was informed in May 1998 that it was a defendant in that suit, filed in June 1996 by a Quorum employee who had been fired that April. Quorum was allowed to discuss the allegations with the federal government despite the fact that the case remains under seal.
In the three more-recently disclosed cases, the government has not yet decided whether to intervene as a plaintiff, said Quorum spokeswoman Shea Davis.