Kalispell hospital fined in aftermath of fraud and kickbacks

KALISPELL, Mont. (AP) — A Montana hospital has been fined $65,000 for falsely certifying that it completed requirements of a corporate integrity agreement that was reached as part of the settlement of a Medicare fraud and kickback scheme.

The Flathead Beacon reports Kalispell Regional Healthcare’s new compliance officer notified the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General about the error.

Nicole Caucci with the OIG said Thursday she did not know if the infraction was an oversight or intentional, but said the hospital had no clear explanation for why board members hadn’t completed training and education programs within 90 days of the September 2018 settlement.

The hospital agreed to pay $24 million to settle allegations that some physicians were being given kickbacks for patient referrals for in-house services.

A former chief financial officer filed a whistleblower lawsuit over the kickbacks.

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Information from: Flathead Beacon, http://www.flatheadbeacon.com