The government alleges that St. Joseph entered professional service contracts with MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates that amounted to kickbacks for bringing lucrative cardiac procedures to the hospital from 1996 to 2006, according to the settlement agreement. The settlement also covers allegations that the hospital billed Medicare and Medicaid for unnecessary procedures performed by Mark Midei, who had been a partner in the cardiology group and subsequently was employed by St. Joseph.
The agreement calls for St. Joseph to enter a five-year corporate integrity agreement with HHS' inspector general's office, and the hospital said in a news release that several components, such as a new contract review process, were adopted more than a year ago.
“From the start of the U.S. Attorney's inquiry, St. Joseph Medical Center made it clear that it would cooperate fully with the government,” St. Joseph President and CEO Jeffrey Norman said in a statement. “Medical center leadership operated from the belief that a cooperative and transparent approach guided by its faith-based system best served the interests of its patients and community and reflects our mission and values.”
The settlement resolves a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by three cardiac surgeons in a competing practice, Cardiac Surgery Associates in Baltimore.