May 21, 2010, Cincinnati, Ohio - The Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati and The Christ Hospital have signed a written civil settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice resolving the case regarding the manner in which physicians were assigned to work in the hospital's cardiac testing station from 1997 to 2004.
The following statement was released today by Susan Croushore, President and CEO of The Christ Hospital:
"While The Christ Hospital continues to disagree with the government's allegations that the assignment of physicians to our cardiac testing station resulted in the inducement of local cardiologists to refer patients to the hospital, we decided to contribute to the joint settlement agreement with the Health Alliance of Greater Cincinnati instead of risking a potential catastrophic judgment that could jeopardize our ability to provide service to this community. This settlement allows The Christ Hospital to avoid the risk of the in excess of a billion dollar award that was sought by the government.
We provided necessary and often life-saving medical care by ensuring sufficient cardiologists coverage to read heart tests provided in the hospital. There was no challenge in this case to the medical necessity or quality of patient care. Nor did the government suffer any loss, as it did not expend any money for the services beyond standard Medicare payments.
Paying a portion of the $110 million settlement enables The Christ Hospital to move forward without years of ongoing litigation and the risk of a crippling judgment. We will proceed with our plans to improve and grow services provided for this community with the region's most respected hospital, staff and physicians.
We ask that the community join us in moving forward from this disheartening case. We are glad to be rid of the costly litigation siphoning resources from our mission and the threat of a potential catastrophic judgment. By choosing the less risky course of action, The Christ Hospital can put this case behind us and proceed with our plans to build a strong community-oriented health care system through improvement and expansion of services in the heart of downtown Cincinnati and throughout our Greater Cincinnati region."