Two Pennsylvania healthcare facilities and an ophthalmologist together will pay nearly $1.5 million in fines to resolve allegations that the physician accepted equipment and other benefits from the healthcare facilities in exchange for patient referrals. The settlement stems from a whistleblower lawsuit by the doctor's former office administrator.
Leonard Ginsburg, a physician in Springfield, Pa., agreed to pay a $200,000 fine to settle allegations that he improperly accepted space, equipment, personnel, supplies and directors' fees in exchange for patient referrals from the two facilities, Mercy Community Hospital and Brandywine Hospital, according to the Patrick Meehan, U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
Mercy Hospital, which is currently not operating as an acute-care hospital, paid about $1 million to the government, while BHS Transitional Corp., formerly Brandywine Hospital, agreed to repay the government $250,000 to settle the allegations, according to a news release. Ginsburg and the hospitals did not admit to wrongdoing and maintain that their actions were lawful, the release said.
"I think it's important that physicians and hospitals carefully evaluate their business and financial relationships in order to assure that the services being provided are not tainted," said Assistant U.S. Attorney David Huffman.