Former executives accuse Erlanger of kickbacks, Stark law violations

Chattanooga, Tenn.-based Erlanger Health System is facing kickback scheme allegations from two former executives. 

Here are five things to know about the case:

1. The 2021 complaint was filed by former CFO J. Britton Tabor and former chief compliance officer Alana Sullivan, who were let go in 2019 and 2021, respectively. They alleged that Erlanger offered and provided kickbacks and excessive pay, among other incentives, to physicians who referred patients. 

2. "Erlanger paid physicians based on amounts that outside experts advised was fair market value. Erlanger did not pay for referrals," the officials said in a statement shared with Becker's. "A complete picture of the facts will demonstrate that the allegations lack merit and tell a very different story than what these former employees now claim. Erlanger will vigorously defend this lawsuit."

3. The complaint also alleges Erlanger submitted false claims for Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements for services from physicians who were receiving the kickbacks. 

4. The complaint, which is based on allegations brought under the qui tam, or whistleblower provision, of the False Claims Act, alleges "Erlanger falsely, expressly certified to those payers that it was in compliance with the Stark Law and the AKS." 

5. The Justice Department has intervened for Stark law claims but declined to intervene on all other claims, an Erlanger spokesperson told Becker's

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