This coming from The City Paper, a former Tennessee executive for Iasis Healthcare, one of Tennessee’s largest health care companies, has blown the whistle in a False Claims lawsuit.
Jerre Frazier worked for Iasis in Franklin, Tennessee for four years, becoming vice president for ethics and compliance and as its chief compliance officer. During this time, Frazier discovered that many of the top Iasis executives had previously worked for Nashville-headquartered HCA, a for-profit hospital chain which itself was guilty of defrauding the government through Medicare fraud totaling $1.7 billion (yes, a b as in bullion and in boy that’s a lot of money).
The allegations in the present False Claims lawsuit against Iasis Healthcare is that these executives from HCA brought their dirty business with them. Specifically, the False Claims charges are that Iasis compensated doctors for their referrals and for performing unnecessary medical services that were charged to Medicare. In return, doctors received discounted rent for office and lab space from Iasis.
Iasis owns 15 hospitals, none located in Tennessee, along with other medical facilities. If the court sides in his favor, Frazier will be awarded 15-30% of the government’s total recoveries (remember that b-illion number above) for blowing the whistle on Iasis and helping the federal government reclaim its stolen Medicare funds. The percentage depends on if the Department of Justice will pursue this matter or turn it over to private qui tam attorneys.