Montana Hospital Fined for Payments to Doctors

300x300_alertThe Justice Department settled a case against a Montana hospital for nearly $4 Million based on allegations that the hospital improperly paid physicians who referred to the hospital.  The allegations arise out of a medical office building project in which the hospital and referring physicians were co-owners.  The particular areas of wrongdoing targeted by the DOJ included below market lease rates.  The case is odd in that (1) it is not the usual “pay for referral” sort of case traditionally pursued against parties, and (2) ensuring fair market value and commercial reasonableness in rental arrangements of healthcare providers is a key element in terms of compliance.