Joplin hospital to pay $9M settlement

Monday, November 5, 2012 | 1:56 p.m. CST

JOPLIN — The Justice Department says a Joplin hospital will pay about $9 million to resolve allegations that the hospital violated federal laws on incentive compensation for some doctors.

The Justice Department said in a release Monday that Freeman Health System will pay $9.3 million to resolve allegations that it provided incentive pay to 70 doctors in violation of the Stark Law, which prohibits doctors from referring business to hospitals in which they have a vested financial interest.

Freeman CEO Paula Baker said an emailed statement Monday that Freeman discovered the issue in its own internal audit in 2009 and reported it to the Justice Department. Baker says the hospital system has changed its compensation structure and an extensive third-party review showed that the violations did not compromise patient care.

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