Last week, the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Texas (Austin) announced that Omega Healthcare Investors, Inc. had agreed to pay $3 million to resolve False Claims Act (FCA) allegations.

According to its website, Omega Healthcare Investors “is a triple-net, equity REIT [Real Estate Investment Trust] that supports the goals of Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) and Assisting Living Facility (ALF) operators with financing and capital.”

The DOJ alleged that Omega’s predecessor-in-interest – MedEquities – paid kickbacks to physicians to induce them to refer patients to a hospital in which MedEquities had an interest.  The government alleged that MedEquities “offered the physicians a low-risk, high-reward investment” in a joint venture formed by MedEquities and a real estate company to purchase the hospital.  That real estate company  — Lakeway Realty – was also a party to the settlement.

The allegations were originally brought by two whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the FCA.  In September 2020, the hospital at issue – Lakeway Regional Medical Center – agreed to pay more than $1.1 million to resolve the same matter.

The attorneys at Chilivis Grubman represent healthcare providers of all types and sizes in connection with government investigations and False Claims Act litigation.  If you need assistance with such a matter, please contact us today.