AP NEWS

The Latest: Sutter to pay $45M for kickbacks, overbilling

November 15, 2019

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The Latest on a settlement between Sutter Health and the federal government (all times local):

12:00 p.m.

The Department of Justice says Sutter Health has agreed to pay more than $45 million to settle a lawsuit by the federal government that it payed doctors in exchange for patient referrals and submitted Medicare claims that resulted from those referrals.

The department made the announced Friday, a day after the Sacramento Bee reported Sutter Health had agreed to pay more than $30 million to settle a 2014 secret lawsuit filed by the federal government and a whistleblower.

The Department says one of Sutter’s hospitals, Sutter Memorial Center Sacramento, agreed to pay $30.5 million to settle allegations that it paid a group of Sacramento surgeons in exchange for the surgeons referring patients to the hospital.

Separately, Sutter has agreed to pay more than $15 million to resolve other violations, including double-billing Medicare.

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9:30 a.m.

Sutter Health has agreed to pay more than $30 million to the federal government to settle a lawsuit that accused it of paying doctors in exchange for patient referrals.

The Sacramento Bee reports the agreement settles a 2014 secret lawsuit and was filed by the federal government and Laurie Hanvey, a whistleblower who once worked for Sutter as its compliance officer. The suit remained sealed until Thursday.

Hanvey’s attorney, Michael Hirst, says the government will pay $5.795 million to Hanvey and her attorneys from the settlement as a result of her bringing her claims to government officials’ attention.

Sutter officials said in a statement the settlement resolves overpayments that Sutter had received from the federal government. They said the company has not conceded any wrongdoing as part of the settlement.