Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

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Federal investigation launched into Georgia hospital

It takes years for companies to cement their reputation in their respective markets and this image can be ruined in a matter of seconds if they get accused of committing federal crimes. A healthcare company that has been trying to improve its image after it reached a settlement when it was accused of fraud in 2006 finds itself embroiled once again in a federal investigation.

The recent investigation claims that four hospitals, including one in Georgia, made improper payments in exchange for patient referrals. According to the investigation, the money was in return for providing labor and delivery services to women. In addition to this, it has been alleged that the hospitals also billed Medicaid for reimbursements related to the procedures.

The hospital defends its actions, claiming they were proper and ensured pregnant women in impoverished areas were receiving proper prenatal care to increase the chances of a safe birth. However, federal investigators insist the scheme is a fraudulent one.

Healthcare fraud allegations are serious ones and if Georgia residents are found guilty they may find themselves facing sever penalties. Whether it is an organization facing charges or an individual, a strong defense can go a long way in fighting off charges, especially when the accused has a previous criminal background that the prosecutor can use against them. Even though media reports may claim otherwise, Georgia residents and organizations are presumed innocent until they are proven guilty in a court of law. Individuals have constitutional rights which must be respected.

Source: Dallas news, "Tenet faces fraud investigation into payments made to women's clinics," Miles Moffeit, Feb. 20, 2014

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Nick Lotito & Seth Kirschenbaum

Former Federal Prosecutors

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