Three Ohio-based psychiatric care and treatment facilities have agreed to pay $10.25 million to resolve a whistleblower lawsuit alleging multiple violations of the False Claims Act. Oglethorpe Inc. and its three facilities Ridgeview Behavioral Hospital, Cambridge Behavioral Hospital, and The Woods at Parkside (collectively Oglethorpe) allegedly offered free long-distance transport for patients and prospective patients as an incentive to receive treatment that would then be billed to the government. The company and the three facilities also allegedly billed the government for unnecessary inpatient psychiatric care for patients.
According to a U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) press release, Darlene Baker, a former client advocate at one of the psychiatric hospitals, filed a qui tam lawsuit against Oglethorpe in October of 2016. The lawsuit alleged that Oglethorpe violated the False Claims Act by providing illegal incentives in the form of free transportation to and from its treatment centers.