SANFORD, Maine-Goodall Hospital earlier this month abandoned its previous partners in a planned cancer center and adopted Plan B: two new partners. Goodall and its original partners, York (Maine) Hospital and Wentworth-Douglass Hospital, Dover, N.H., in 2003 ran into trouble getting regulatory permission to build a cancer center in Wells, Maine. Now Goodall has partnered with Maine Medical Center, Portland, and Southern Maine Medical Center, Biddeford, to build a $6 million cancer center in south Sanford, about eight miles from the previously planned location. Goodall will provide land for the center, saving more than $250,000 in site costs. "We are concerned about the potential for still more legal challenges and resultant delays. ... Therefore, we are exercising our backup plan," Goodall officials said in a news release. In a written statement, York Chief Executive Officer Jud Knox said the hospital is "shocked" by the new partnership and that all area hospitals interested in a new cancer center should build it together.
NEW YORK-Billing consultant Accordis agreed earlier this month to pay $1.3 million in perhaps the first False Claims Act settlement involving abortion services. During the 1990s in a third-party billing contract with the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services, Accordis allegedly knowingly installed "default" diagnostic codes to obtain federal reimbursement for abortion services. The company was paid based on the money it recovered from third-party payers, including Medicare and Medicaid, federal prosecutors in New York said. Because Accordis is based in New York City, the state had jurisdiction over the case. Accordis did not admit wrongdoing in the settlement. The allegedly falsified diagnoses led California's Medicaid program, MediCal, to unknowingly submit illegal claims to the CMS. Federal law prohibits federal funds from being used to pay for abortions in most cases. A whistle-blower lawsuit was filed in 2002 in U.S. District Court in New York by a former marketing vice president at a predecessor company of Accordis.