The whistleblower fraud case involving HCA-The Healthcare Co. still has not been resolved, despite the $745 million civil settlement HCA agreed to in December 2000.
U.S. Justice Department attorneys, in a mid-June report, said that two whistleblowers have delayed the settlement's approval by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth in Washington. HCA hasn't paid out any money pending the judge's decision.
The two are among 30 whistleblowers who filed suit against HCA under the False Claims Act. Last month they appeared ready to withdraw their challenge to the settlement, but to date the pair has held out. The Justice Department is seeking to dismiss their claims.
Lamberth cannot approve the settlement-or whistleblower shares of the recovery-unless all of the parties agree.
"It now appears that such a result is unlikely and that the settlement issues will not be resolved until the court decides a number of outstanding motions concerning these two (whistleblowers)," according to the department's report.
No settlement discussions have taken place since the Justice Department's last status report, filed May 15.
Still unresolved from the December settlement are civil allegations of Medicare cost-reporting fraud, kickback allegations and criminal investigations of former HCA officials.
In December, HCA agreed to pay $95 million in criminal fines and penalties in addition to the $745 million for civil claims.