United States v. WMC

Westchester Medical Center agreed to pay $18.8 million and admit to misconduct to settle a U.S. lawsuit accusing the suburban New York hospital operator of violating a federal anti-kickback law and defrauding Medicare, federal prosecutors said on Thursday.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara in New York said the settlement resolves allegations that Westchester Medical made improper payments to a local cardiology practice in exchange for hundreds of referrals, and obtained Medicare reimbursements for costs it did not incur.

"Westchester Medical Center's aggressive, intricate kickbacks and other fraud schemes in this case threatened the impartiality of medical referrals, the financial integrity of Medicare, and the public's trust in the health care system," Scott Lampert, a special agent for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

The lawsuit alleged violations of the federal False Claims Act from 2000 to 2007.

It was first brought in December 2006 by former Westchester Medical compliance officer Dan Bisk, who died three years later and whose widow Chris Carrs pursued the case on his behalf. Attorneys from the Fischer Legal Group successfully handled this case while at its predecessor firms.