The case between Dallas County, Parkland Hospital, and the Justice Department has finally been settled with an agreed amount of 1.4 million dollars. The initial lawsuit was filed in 2010 by a man named Dr. Lien Kyri. Dr. Kyri was a physician at Parkland hospital and filed suit against the hospital through the U.S. False Claims Act. The act provides private individuals to sue on behalf of the federal government. The Justice Department can then investigate and choose whether to involve itself as a plaintiff or not. Dr. Kyri claimed physicians from UT Southwestern were improperly billing the government through Medicare and Medicaid programs provided for the poor and elderly. The Justice Department joined as a plaintiff with . 25% of the settlement will be given to Dr. Kyri.
Dr. Kyri claimed physicians would send patients for rehabilitation without it being necessary for them—in fact, without it being ordered by their primary care physicians. This process not only harmed the patients, but also the primary care physicians and their ability to work effectively. Five former faculty members from UT Southwestern were also included in the suit. Apparently, the doctors had “financial incentive” to order these procedures because their contract with UT Southwestern was dependent on their “productivity”.
This is not the first time an allegation has been made against physicians for “improper billing”. What this will mean for the future of Parkland Hospital and UT Southwestern is yet to be seen.