Wheaton hospital settles suit with U.S.by Dan Gunderson, Minnesota Public Radio
Minnapolis — A Minnesota hospital and physician will pay more than $840,000 to settle allegations of filing false Medicare claims.
The Federal government accused the Wheaton Community Hospital of submitting claims for unnecessary hospital admissions from 1998 to 2004.
Hospital administrator Jesse Tischer said he believes the hospital provided appropriate care.
"I think the important piece is that they are allegations on behalf of the federal government," Tischer said. "Wheaton Community Hospital is pleased to have settled the lawsuit with the federal government without admission of any liability related to any of those allegations."
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gerry Wilhelm said the allegations involve unnecessary hospital admissions.
"A person was admitted to the hospital for a blood transfusion, generally that's an outpatient procedure," Wilhelm said. "It was our position such things shouldn't have been done in an inpatient setting because it costs the government a lot more money to do it in the hospital than in an outpatient setting."
Attorneys for Dr. Stanley Gallagher said he admits to no wrongdoing, but settled to avoid costs of litigation.
The allegations were raised by Dr. Steven Radjenovich, who worked at the Wheaton hospital, and filed a whistle blower lawsuit under the Federal False Claims Act.
Radjenovichwill receive about $200,000 dollars as his share of the settlement.