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What Happened After She Helped Nurse at Catholic Healthcare Blow Whistle on her Employer

A settlement agreement between Dignity Health and the Justice Deparment was announced on October 30, 2014 for $36.7 million. The whistleblower in this case, Kathleen Hawkins, a registered nurse who worked as a director of medical management at Catholic Healthcare West (which changed its name to Dignity Health during the course of litigation), was represented by Nolan Auerbach & White.

The Complaint alleged Dignity Health caused the defendant hospitals – 13 hospitals out of 39 in its system – to admit patients for procedures that could be performed on an outpatient basis from 2006-2010. Inpatient reimbursements are significantly higher, the Justice Department said.

“They are subject to a five-year corporate integrity agreement with the DOJ, and they have to have an independent review. They have to hire a third-party to review the accuracy of all their claims submitted to federal health care programs, and not just for the 13 hospitals, but for their entire system. That’s a pretty big undertaking,” Auerbach said.

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