Massive False Claims Act case settled with Tenet Healthcare Corporation
U.S. ex rel. Williams v. Tenet Healthcare (“Tenet”). In 2009, W&G began prosecuting a massive False Claims Act case against one of the biggest hospital companies in the country, Tenet Healthcare Corporation. The case officially settled for $368M in 2016. W&G’s client is whistleblower Bill Williams, an Army veteran and former hospital finance executive. Mr. Williams received a portion of the civil settlement funds. Click here for the W&G press release.
The suit alleged that Tenet and four of its hospitals in Georgia and South Carolina, entered into an illegal arrangement with a business called “Clinica de la Mama” that operated walk-in obstetric clinics for undocumented Hispanic women. The suit alleges that under the arrangement, Tenet paid Clinica to locate and refer to Tenet’s hospitals pregnant, undocumented women who would have their babies at Tenet hospitals at government expense. Women who are not U.S. citizens are not eligible for regular Medicaid but because labor is an emergency condition, Emergency Medicaid pays for the services. Paying for referrals of Medicaid patients violates the federal Anti-Kickback Statute and applicable Georgia laws. The State of Georgia joined W&G in prosecuting the case in 2013 and the U.S. Department of Justice joined in 2014. Tenet was represented in the case by two major law firms, Alton & Bird, LLP in Atlanta and Latham & Watkins, LLP in Washington, DC and Los Angeles, CA.
It is noteworthy that the knowledge and information shared with the Government was directly responsible for the initiation of the criminal investigation that led to the recovery of $145 in criminal restitution.