What Happened After She Helped Nurse at Catholic Healthcare Blow Whistle on her Employer
What Happened After She Helped Nurse at Catholic Healthcare Blow Whistle on her Employer?
November 5, 2014
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.