Adventist Settles Mega-Fraud $uit

Dec 20, 2013

Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc., the parent company of Orlando-based Florida Hospital, has settled a whistleblower suit that alleged seven of its hospitals systematically overbilled federal programs Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare for more than a decade, the Orlando Business Journal reports.

The amount of the settlement was not available, but the Orlando Sentinel quoted plaintiffs' attorney Marlan Wilbanks as saying in August that Adventist faced up to $100 million in penalties if the case went to court, given the length of time the fraud continued. The settlement was likely substantially less than that. 

The settlement had been expected after U.S. District Judge John Antoon ruled against Adventist's motion to dismiss the suit. It had been scheduled for trial this month.

The plaintiffs Amanda Dittman, a bill-coding and reimbursement compliance officer, and Dr. Charlotte Elenberger, a radiologist, filed the suit in 2010. They stand to receive a part of the settlement, usually 10 to 20 percent. Neither still works for Adventist.