Whistleblower: Ohio hospital defrauds federal healthcare
A whistleblower lawsuit alleged that Christ Hospital and the Ohio Heart Health Center cardiology practice devised a scheme to provide cardiologists with improper monetary incentives in exchange for generating revenue for the hospital from 1999 to 2004.
Potential liability was reported to be as high as $424 million.
The focus of the suit is an outpatient cardiology testing unit within Christ Hospital known as the Heart Station, where patients receive non-invasive heart procedures such as electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and stress tests.
The action was filed under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act by a cardiologist who had provided services to Christ Hospital and Ohio Heart.
Many of the procedures were billed to federal benefit programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.
It’s against federal law to exchange financial incentives for patient referrals.
Power plant workers at risk
Power plant workers make electricity happen. You might think it's as easy as flipping a switch but not so for the power plant worker.
Some power plant workers sit at computers and control the production and flow of electricity. Some power plant workers may need to control each generator and turbine by monitoring separate switches on the units for energy demands.
Many of the power plant machines generate a horrendous amount of heat. Power plant workers could be exposed to asbestos used to insulate pipes going to and from turbines and other heat-producing machines. Used to generate heat, boilers were present and asbestos can be found in the insulation surrounding boilers and networks of pipe.
Asbestos may be found inside many power plant machines such as asbestos gaskets used to seal pumps and valves. Power plant workers typically installed these asbestos. In the process of installing asbestos gaskets, workers may have been exposed to asbestos fibers.
Even the walls, floor tiles, and ceiling tiles in a power plant may be sites of exposure for the power plant worker.
Many U.S. power plants have been renovated and asbestos has been removed although some plants still contain asbestos. Workers should be particularly diligent when working in older plants to ensure that they are not exposed. Respirators or filtering masks should always be worn.
All these exposure to asbestos has been the cause of mesothelioma, a rare asbestos-related cancer.
New Jersey: Conscientious Employee Protection Act
If you work in New Jersey, your employer is prohibited from any retaliatory action against you if you are a whistleblower.
You are protected if you disclose or threaten to disclose a policy or practice that you believe is in violation of the law.
You are protected if you expose a licensed healthcare professional who you believe is providing bad patient care.
You are protected if you testify or give information for an investigation or hearing.
You are protected if you refuse to participate in an activity or practice that you believe is in violation of a law, fraudulent, or criminal.
If you are a whistleblower and working with a lawyer, please let him or her know about your whistleblower rights and responsibilities.