a leading healthcare provider in South Georgia, announced its official
response to its recent settlement with the U.S. Government, terms of
which were disseminated earlier today by the U.S. Attorney's Office for
the Southern District of Georgia.
While Optim agreed to the terms of the settlement, the healthcare
provider felt compelled to put the settlement in perspective for the
benefit of its patients and the broader community alike. Michael
Kleinpeter, CEO of Optim Healthcare, stated:
Healthcare's settlement with the United States Attorney's Office for
the Southern District of Georgia and the Department of Health and Human
Services' Office of the Inspector General was announced. In August 2012,
Optim disclosed to the government documentation
errors that potentially triggered technical violations of the Stark Law,
and a significant portion of the settlement concerns this issue. While
the Stark law violations are the result of technical documentation
errors that occurred in the context of a very
complex regulatory environment, Optim regrets its mistakes and in the
intervening period has taken proactive compliance steps to help prevent
any reoccurrence. The settlement also resolves a disagreement with the
government concerning alleged billing errors."
types of settlements are relatively common among medical providers
nationally, and we would like to emphasize that Optim's exemplary record
of medical care was never in question. With this, behind us we look
forward to continuing to provide the exemplary service
we have come to be known for over the last 35 years, service which is
now offered at 49 facilities across southeastern Georgia."
large network ensures the highest-quality service and treatment
across facilities, providing the best in healthcare to patients in both
larger metropolitan and rural areas. Optim contributes to the
communities it operates in not only by providing top-notch healthcare,
but also by creating jobs for over 1,000 people, including
for those with special needs, and participating in local sports
programs, philanthropy and fundraising.
healthcare providers struggle
to come to terms with an ever evolving healthcare system, the complexity
of billing is only one of the struggles we face every day.
Unfortunately, as our healthcare system becomes more difficult to
navigate, these oversights can, and do occur," said Michael
Kleinpeter. "It is important to remember that this is a nationwide
phenomenon, with more than 750 of these types of claims being filed
across the country in the past fiscal year alone. Rather than incur the
legal fees and distraction that would have come with
a lengthy legal proceeding, we have decided to settle this matter."
In response to the complaint unsealed in conjunction with the settlement
Michael Kleinpeter stated: "We
vehemently disagree with allegations included in the complaint unsealed
yesterday. The complaint was filed
by the former chief executive officer of one of our competitors, who has
no knowledge of our internal operations, and who stands to gain
financially from the resolution of this matter."