St. Joseph’s Stent Settlement

There has been a settlement in the St. Joseph’s stent case. No, not those cases. This settlement was for the not so unrelated lawsuit by the federal government for the kickbacks given for referrals from Mid-Atlantic Cardiovascular Associates. St. Joseph was accused of making payments to Mid-Atlantic for referrals for cardiac procedures, most notably, stents.

How many people were privy to this scheme? We are talking about a nonprofit hospital here. Why is a nonprofit – basically a publicly owned business – willing to risk its reputation by engaging in an illegal scheme to get more patients? On its face, it seems crazy.

Nonprofit or not, most hospital executives have a vested interest is a big and “profitable” hospital. It means more prestige and, not so parenthetically, more money for everyone involved in the hospital. The added perks and future job opportunities don’t hurt the motivation to get bigger and better. Notwithstanding the nonprofit veil that most Maryland hospitals have, there is an economic motivation that guides, to varying degrees by hospital and administrator, their decision-making process.