Allegations of Overbilling, Kickbacks at Florida's Halifax Health Move Forward

A motion for dismissal has been denied by a U.S. district court judge, allowing a whistleblower case accusing Daytona Beach, Fla.-based Halifax Health Medical Center of Medicare fraud and kickbacks to continue, according to a Daytona Beach News-Journal report.

Halifax's director of physician services filed the lawsuit in 2009, claiming Halifax overbilled Medicare by tens of millions each year "for many years," according to the report. The lawsuit claims Halifax inappropriately admitted patients, billed Medicare for their services and allegedly had financial relationships with physicians in violation of federal anti-kickback laws, according to the report.

U.S. District Court Judge Gregory A. Presnell found Halifax failed to prove the allegations weren't specific enough in its motion to dismiss. The judge also found the motion failed to prove Halifax, which is supported by property taxes, is immune from the suit because it is part of the state.

The system has also been cooperating with a federal probe into its billing practices after the government filed a statement of interest April 5 in response to Halifax's motion to dismiss.

The system has strongly denied the allegations. Chief Counsel Dave Davidson said he was surprised to hear the motion to dismiss had been denied, but this does not mean the same points on Halifax's motion won't be raised again.

Read the Daytona Beach News-Journal report on Halifax Health.

Related Articles on Hospital Systems and Lawsuits:
Florida's St. Luke's Hospital Faces False Claims Allegations
California Accuses Sutter Health of Overbilling More Than $100M for Anesthesia
Florida's Broward Health Under Investigation for Stark, Anti-Kickback Violations

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