Washington, D.C., partner Jesse Witten was quoted in the Report on Medicare Compliance after the first false claims case where a real estate appraiser was the whistleblower.
HCA, a Nashville-based for-profit hospital chain, agreed to pay $16.5 million to settle allegations that it overpaid a physician group for office space. The false claims lawsuit alleged that HCA made deals with a group of physicians to encourage and reward their patient referrals to Parkridge Medical Center, an HCA hospital in Chattanooga .
An employee of the property management service that was contracted to do a fair-market appraisal of the space ultimately blew the whistle.
Jesse said that hospitals should put in their contracts with appraisers and similar kinds of consultants a provision that requires these experts to tell the company immediately if any potential noncompliance comes to their attention.