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Three Ascension Texas Hospitals Agreed to Pay $20.9 Million for Allegedly Violating the Civil Monetary Penalties Law by Paying Remuneration to Physician Groups Inconsistent with Fair Market Value Services

After they self-disclosed conduct to OIG, Ascension Texas and Ascension Seton d/b/a Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas (DSMC), Ascension Seton Medical Center Austin (ASMCA), and Ascension Seton Williamson (ASW), Texas, agreed to pay $20,983,887.75 for allegedly violating the Civil Monetary Penalties Law including provisions applicable to physician self-referrals and kickbacks. OIG alleged that: (1) DSMC and ASW paid remuneration to an orthopedic surgery group in the form of above fair market value (FMV) payments for on-call coverage; (2) DSMC paid remuneration to an Austin physician practice in the form of above FMV payments for on-call coverage; (3) ASMCA paid remuneration to the Austin physician practice in the form of above FMV payments for transplant on-call coverage and administrative services; (4) ASW paid remuneration to the Austin physician practice in the form of above FMV payments to lease the practice’s employed registered nurses and surgical technologists that participates in surgeries performed by the Austin physician practice’s physicians at ASW; (5) ASMCA paid remuneration to the Austin physician practice in the form of above FMV payments for administrative services relating to its thoracic surgery program; (6) ASMC paid remuneration to the Austin physician practice in the form of free physician assistants employed by ASMCA for which the Austin physician practice should have compensated ASMCA; and (7) ASMCA paid remuneration to the Austin physician practice in the form of free office space in a medical office building and related staff, service and supply support for one-half day per week to perform clinical services.

Action Details

  • Date:April 30, 2021
  • Enforcement Types:
    • Provider Self-Disclosures