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United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
September 18, 2019, Decided; September 18, 2019, Filed
Civil Action No. 5:19-CV-192
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER DENYING MOTIONS TO DISMISS
Pending before this Court are three motions to dismiss: Defendant Wheeling Hospital's Motion to Dismiss the Government's Complaint in Intervention [Doc. 104]; Defendant R&V Associates, Ltd.'s Motion to Dismiss Government's Complaint in Intervention [Doc. 106]; and Defendant Ronald L. Violi's Motion to Dismiss Government's Complaint in Intervention [Doc. 108]. All three motions have been fully briefed and are ripe for decision.
On December 22, 2017, Louis Longo ("Longo" or "Relator"), filed this qui tam action under seal in this Court. On March 25, 2019, the United States intervened in this action and filed its Complaint in Intervention ("Complaint") [Doc. 19].1
In 2006, R&V Associates, Ltd. ("R&V") was hired to manage [*2] the hospital. Violi, one of R&V's two partners, served as the hospital's CEO. That arrangement continued until May of this year. The Government alleges that during their tenure, R&V and Violi oversaw the hospital's hiring of dozens of physicians at inflated salaries to capture revenues from those doctors' patient referrals. To that end, Wheeling Hospital routinely entered into physician contracts that resulted in violations of two laws that defendants repeatedly promised to comply with: the physician self-referral law (commonly known as the "Stark Law"), 42 U.S.C. § 1395nn, and the Anti-Kickback Statute ("AKS"), 42 U.S.C. § 1320a-7b(b). It is alleged that this scheme led to thousands of false claims to the Medicare program, tens of millions of dollars in profit for the hospital, and millions in management fees for R&V and Violi.
To recover for this fraud, the United States has asserted claims against defendants under the False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729-33, and the federal common law.
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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 158639 *; 2019 WL 4478843
UNITED STATES ex rel. LOUIS LONGO, Plaintiff, v. WHEELING HOSPITAL, INC., R&V ASSOCIATES, LTD., and RONALD L. VIOLI, Defendants.
Prior History: United States ex rel. Longo v. Wheeling Hosp., Inc., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97004 (W.D. Pa., June 10, 2019)
violations, compliance, false claim, allegations, Medicare, referrals, compensation arrangement, referring physician, regulations, pays, condition of payment, false certificate, reimbursement, defendants', scienter, courts, financial relationship, motion to dismiss, actual knowledge, knowingly, entity, insubstantial, Provider, holistic, indirect