A hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, has settled false claims allegations that its retail pharmacy billed Medicare for prescription drugs without a physician signature on the order and charged for refills without checking whether they were necessary.
Jewish Hospital & St. Mary’s HealthCare Inc., doing business as Pharmacy Plus and Pharmacy Plus Specialty, agreed to pay $10.1 million, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said Nov. 20. DOJ also alleged the hospital gave some patients free blood glucose testing supplies and waved their copays.
The case was set in motion by a whistleblower, pharmacist Robert Stone. According to the False Claims Act complaint, Jewish Hospital is a regional provider of organ transplants, and Pharmacy Plus was its in-house pharmacy. Pharmacy Plus served employees, patients and the public, filling immunosuppressant prescriptions for transplant patients. The hospital also operated Pharmacy Plus Specialty, a mail-order business.