Hospital owners, operators agree to pay federal settlement

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SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A whistleblower claim brought a $530,000 settlement from a Louisiana hospital.

A news release from U.S. Attorney David Joseph on Thursday says the claim targeted owners and operators of University Health Hospital in Shreveport.

The statement says Biomedical Research Foundation of Northwest Louisiana and Louisiana State University got Medicare payments for devices to treat abnormal heart rhythms without making required reports to a qualified registry.

The allegations were made under the False Claims Act. It lets people sue on the government’s behalf for government funds and get part of any money recovered.

The hospital’s 50% owner since October 2018, Ochsner (OX-ner) Health System, says the reporting was technical, applied to a few cases and is no longer required. Ochsner says every device was needed and the operations were properly performed.