Settlement Reached in DOJ Case Against Wheeling Hospital

WHEELING — The settlement that has been reached in the Department of Justice (DOJ) lawsuit against Wheeling Hospital paves the way for the hospital to continue providing quality health care to residents of the region. “The settlement was in the best interest of the long-term viability of the hospital and the community,” said hospital CEO Douglass Harrison. “Prolonging the lawsuit would have paralyzed the ability of the hospital to attract the best physicians and to make the necessary capital improvements to ensure that the highest quality health care continues to be provided in the Upper Ohio Valley.” The case began as a 2017 whistleblower lawsuit alleging the hospital violated the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute. The DOJ intervened in March 2019 to join the suit. Since the suit was filed, the hospital entered into a management agreement with WVU Health System (WVUHS) and named Harrison the new CEO. The hospital also has added a robust corporate compliance program with WVUHS. In recognition of the significant leadership changes at the hospital, the DOJ settlement does not require a five-year monitoring agreement normally required for lawsuits of this type. More importantly, the action against the hospital was dismissed with prejudice, without an admission of wrongdoing. “The settlement will not impede the hospital’s focus on patient care or its commitment to compliance, ethical conduct and integrity,” Harrison said.

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