On Aug. 8, the federal government filed a lawsuit against a Savannah, Georgia, hospital for its role in an allegedly fraudulent scheme to collect Medicare reimbursements based on referrals from doctors. According to the lawsuit filed in the U. S. District Court at Savannah, the leadership at Memorial Health Inc. recognized that their hospitals revenues were dwindling in 2007. Allegedly, the acting chief executive officer at the time recruited a trio of doctors and paid them higher than average salaries to drive more business to the hospital.
The government has alleged that there was an improper financial relationship that violated the law between the new doctors and the hospital because of their prohibited patient referrals. The lawsuit alleges that the three doctors were paid salaries and given other compensation packages that were well in excess of fair market value.