Halifax Health settlement of Medicare kickback claims
The lawsuit was filed on behalf of Elin Balid-Kunz (“Ms. Kunz”) who gained inside knowledge from over 17 years of employment at Halifax Hospital where she was the Halifax Director of Physician Services. In her whistleblower lawsuit, Ms. Kunz alleges that Halifax knowingly and intentionally submitted thousands of fraudulent claims to Medicare. Additionally, Ms. Kunz alleged that Halifax paid kickbacks and illegal compensation to key referring physicians in order to generate patient referrals to the hospital. It was announced on March 3, 2014, Halifax Health settled the Medicare illegal physician compensation or Stark law portion of this case for $85,000,000. At that time, this settlement was the largest Stark law settlement ever.
Ms. Kunz was a compliance professional who brought her concerns repeatedly to her Chief Compliance Officer and other management, to no avail. Because of her push back, she endured different forms of harassment but she never waivered in her insistence that Halifax follow the law. For her extraordinary efforts, she was named the national “Whistleblower of the Year” in 2014 by the Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund.