Florida chain agrees to pay $70 million for ‘improper relationships’

http://www.medpagetoday.com/PracticeManagement/Reimbursement/54004?xid=nl_mpt_DHE_2015-10-10&eun=g875301d0r

There is a good chance that your once-independent doctor is now employed by a hospital…

Last month, Broward Health agreed to pay $70 million to settle allegations that it engaged in “improper financial relationships” with doctors under laws prohibiting kickbacks in return for patient referrals.

Giving doctors incentives to generate medical revenue is widely deemed unethical because it tempts them to order unneeded treatment or send patients to lower-quality providers. Physicians with a financial interest in a medical facility tend to prescribe more procedures than those who don’t, studies show…

Although Broward Health paid an enormous sum to settle allegations of wrongdoing, it did not admit those allegations, which is typical in such cases. Nask retired last year. Nobody in the system has been charged with criminal wrongdoing…

What should patients do? Ask their doctor who he or she works for, Reilly added. If the doctor is employed by the hospital and recommends surgery or some other expensive treatment, he said, “research the indications for the procedure” and “consider a second opinion” from an independent practitioner.

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