Lawsuit Alleges All Children’s Hospital Overpaid Doctors
Barbara Schubert, a former employee of All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida, has filed a whistleblower lawsuit in federal court alleging that the hospital overpaid its physicians in violation of federal law.
Schubert worked at the hospital for more than a decade as a director of operations for its doctors’ practice. She claimed that All Children’s was anxious to hire new doctors for the purpose of gaining a steady stream of patient referrals. To achieve that goal, the suit alleges that the hospital paid the new doctors higher salaries than was merited for their specialties.
According to the lawsuit, one pediatric surgeon was hired at a base salary of $600,000 even though the fair market value of a doctor with his experience was approximately $350,000. Overall, the hospital is said to have overpaid its doctors by about $5 million in 2010. Through these actions the hospital is alleged to have violated state and federal laws designed to prevent doctors from ordering unnecessary and costly procedures because they benefit financially.
The federal anti-kickback laws are designed to protect patients from fraud by preventing health care providers from being influenced by money in making health care decisions. Anyone who knowingly receives or pays anything of value to influence the referral of federal health care program business can be held accountable for a felony. California’s Business and Professions Code similarly prohibits doctors from receiving compensation for the referral of patients or clients to the facilities.
If you have any information about health care providers distributing improper kickbacks, please contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.