St. John Health System, Tulsa, Okla., agreed to pay the U.S. $13.2 million to resolve allegations that some of its financial relationships with physicians illegally induced referrals for medical services, the U.S. Justice Department announced.
The system identified the potentially problematic arrangements and reported them to HHS' inspector general's office in 2008. The government determined that relationships with 23 physicians and groups violated the anti-kickback and self-referral laws.
“St. John Health System is committed to honesty and transparency in all of its dealings, which is why we conduct these internal audits," Bob Sullivan, the system's chairman, said in a written statement. "Upon completing our internal audit, we implemented a new systemwide corporate compliance program to prevent any further reoccurrences.” St. John Health System has three hospitals and is part of Tulsa-based Marian Health System.
HHS Inspector General Daniel Levinson is quoted in the Justice Department news release as saying that the case “reflects how we work with providers who self-disclose serious misconduct to efficiently and fairly reach a resolution that protects federal healthcare programs and their beneficiaries.”