Aria Health pays $3 million to settle fraud case

Aria Health has agreed to pay $3 million to the federal government after the Philadelphia-based health system self-disclosed it violated the False Claims Act and Stark Law, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Aria agreed to pay $564,700 to settle claims a cardiologist performed unnecessary invasive procedures on inpatients and outpatients between Oct. 1, 2012, and April 15, 2013 — the date the cardiologist agreed to terminate his employment with Aria. The health system self-disclosed this matter to the federal government in March 2014.

“Patients have a right to medical treatment that is ethical and necessary and not influenced by a physician’s strategy to increase his compensation,” said U.S. Attorney Zane Memeger. “In this case, Aria recognized a problem, reported it to the government, and voluntarily made internal changes to its operations.”

Aria also agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve claims it violated the False Claims Act and Stark Law by compensating a cardiac thoracic surgeon in excess of fair market value.

In addition, the settlement resolves claims Aria paid an amount in excess of fair market value for the right to use the trademark of an orthopedic group the health system acquired in December 2012.