Delaware Public Media

Christiana Care asks judge to dismiss whistleblower lawsuit

Jan 4, 2019

Christiana Care has filed a motion in federal court to dismiss a false claims lawsuit against it.

 


The lawsuit was filed in 2017 by former chief compliance officer Ronald Sherman.

It alleges a kickback scheme in which Christiana Care funneled Medicaid payments to private practice Neonatology Associates in exchange for patient referrals from roughly 2010 to 2014, violating state and federal False Claims Acts. The lawsuit claims Neonatology Associates billed Medicaid for care provided by Christiana Care employees in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

Christiana Hospital, one of the defendants, is a high risk delivery hospital with a Level III NICU. The Christiana Care Health System saw over 6,000 births last fiscal year.

According to Thursday’s court filings, the plaintiff must respond to the Motion to Dismiss by Jan. 17. Sherman’s lawyer said in a statement they plan to file “a vigorous opposition” to the motion.

 

Christiana Care spokesperson Shane Hoffman said in a statement, “Our commitment of service to our community includes a high standard of integrity in ensuring that we are using our community’s health care resources wisely and effectively. We have a robust compliance program to ensure consistent adherence to all laws and regulations that govern our industry.” He declined to comment further on the pending litigation.

 

 

Christiana Care paid the state and federal governments $3.3 million in 2010 to settle a similar false claims suit involving referrals from a group of Wilmignton neurologists.