WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) — Westerly Hospital has agreed to pay $500,000 as the result of a federal fraud investigation into its relationship with 50 physicians.
The Westerly Sun reports (http://bit.ly/14k45iF ) the settlement, reached earlier this month, involved potential violations of the Stark Act, which prohibits doctors from referring patients to a facility at which they have a financial interest.
The investigation found, among other things, that one practice was allowed to run the hospital's gastroenterology department in return for agreeing not to compete with the hospital.
The settlement agreement covers a period of time from 1997 to March 2013.
Under the settlement, which was approved by federal officials, Westerly Hospital, and its new owner, Lawrence + Memorial, neither the doctors nor the hospital admit to any wrongdoing.