Federal officials have revealed the identity of a Fort Lauderdale, FL, orthopedic surgeon who blew the whistle on a hospital system that ended up paying nearly $70 million to settle charges of healthcare fraud.
Michael Reilly, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in private practice, filed suit in April 2010 claiming Broward Health was guilty of illegal physician kickbacks, complicit hospital administrators, and negligent financial oversight. Reilly issued a statement saying he felt vindicated and that “someone had to stop this machine.” He will receive $12 million from the financial recovery.
Reilly first raised concerns about improper physician payments to the hospital’s board of directors and administrators in 2003. His lawsuit claimed that Broward Health administrators awarded employment contracts to a group of top physicians, including cardiologists and other specialists, that paid the doctors more than fair market value based on their ability to increase patient referrals to the hospital system, in violation of federal law.
Physicians also were penalized for referring uninsured patients, Reilly claimed. Broward Health, which admitted no wrongdoing in the agreement, issued a written statement noting that new leadership had put the federal investigation behind the $1 billion-a-year healthcare system, which includes four acute care hospitals, numerous outpatient clinics, and other medical facilities throughout the county. (More information is available online at http://tinyurl.com/opv827g.)