Health system to pay $12.2M to settle whistleblower suit

Sep 1, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — An Irving, Texas-based health care system and its hospital in Santa Fe, New Mexico, will pay $12.2 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit over Medicaid payments. Federal officials say the settlement resolves allegations that Christus Health and Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center made illegal payments in 2001-2009 to county governments for the state's share of Medicaid payments to the hospital. A statement released Friday by the U.S. Attorney's Office says states and counties generally must use their own money for Medicaid expenses to obtain federal matching funds. The office says the settlement includes no finding of liability. The federal government joined a 2011 whistleblower lawsuit filed by Diana Stepan, a former Los Alamos County official who died last year. Her estate will receive $2.4 million of the settlement.