Gibson General Hospital reaches settlement after whistle blower - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Gibson General Hospital reaches settlement after whistle blower case

PRINCETON, IN (WFIE) -

Gibson General Hospital has settled a lawsuit with the United States Attorney's Office in a case that involved what the government called fraudulent billing practices.

The case was brought to the governments attention by a former hospital employee, who is now being referred to as a whistle blower. His reward is 20-percent of the recovered money.

U.S. Attorney Joseph Hogsett says it was a case where medicare and medicaid programs were defrauded.

He spoke in Evansville on Wednesday afternoon to announce the recovery of funds from Gibson General Hospital after a former employee filed a claim, stating that the hospital in Princeton was overcharging patients.

According to the claim, the hospital was charging patients for services received at an independent surgery center, as if those services were performed at the hospital..

Now, the hospital is forced to pay that money back, and then some.

Gibson General Hospital agreed to paying double, and that amount will be over $1 million.

14 News reached out to the hospital for comment, officials declined our request for an interview but did release a statement, saying they were pleased to put the allegations behind them, and the allegations quote, "Related only to the interpretation of obscure government reimbursement guidelines."

Attorney Hogsett says the government takes all of those guidelines seriously.

"We will be very vigilant. If we have any reason to believe or any evidence is every presented to the U.S. Attorney's Office that there has been any kind of waste, fraud or abuse."

Attorney Hogsett commended the work of the whistle blower for reporting the alleged fraud, who will be rewarded with 20-percent of the recovered money.

Indiana Attorney General Greg Zoeller also announced that Gibson General Hospital will pay the state nearly $10,000 as well. 

Copyright 2011 WFIE. All rights reserved.

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