Hospital cardiologist kickback scheme exposed Cooper Health System pays $12.6 Million to resolve whistleblower case by Feds

A prominent heart doctor Nicholas DePace M.D. became a whistleblower to stop a kickback scheme in a major medical facility in which doctors were paid substantial moneys just to refer their patients to the medical center, Cooper Health Systems. Paying doctors for referrals violates the Federal Kickback Statute and various other laws. The lawsuit payment is one of the largest of its kind and it expected to uncover similar schemes elsewhere in the country. According to the lawsuit allegations, Cooper funneled illegal kickbacks to referring doctors through an advisory board known as the Cooper Heart Institute Advisory Board. The stated purpose of the board was to utilize prominent physicians to advise the Institute regarding innovative technologies. In reality it was a sham and the doctors did nothing more for their money than refer patients. The federal Anti-Kickback Statute generally prohibits the offering or paying of anything of value to induce the referral of a service or item paid for by Medicare or Medicaid.  The doctor whistleblower was represented by Pietragallo Gordon Alfano Bosick & Raspanti LLP. Jeffrey Newman represents whistleblowers.