On July 8, 2010, the OIG released a press release announcing that it entered into a 7.3 million dollar civil monetary penalty (“CMP”) settlement agreement with United Shockwave Services, United Prostate Centers, and United Urology Centers (the “Settlement Parties”), all based in the Chicago, Illinois area. The agreement settles charges that, by soliciting and receiving payments from hospitals in exchange for patient referrals, the Settlement Parties violated Federal anti-kickback laws. The OIG alleged that the Settlement Parties and certain of its physician-owners, leveraged patient referrals to obtain contract business from hospitals in Illinois, Indiana, and Iowa. OIG also alleged that Settlement Parties caused certain hospitals to submit claims for designated health services that resulted from prohibited referrals in violation of the Physician Self-Referral Law (the “Stark law”).
Under the 5-year Corporate Integrity Agreement, the Settlement Parties are required to hire an Independent Review Organization. The independent reviewer will monitor lithotripsy and laser arrangements between them and any hospital in Illinois, Iowa, and Indiana that receives referrals from them or their physician investors. The Settlement Parties are also required to create a comprehensive training program to educate employees and corporate members on Stark law and kickback issues.
In resolving the matter through a settlement agreement, the Settlement Parties have denied any liability.