Whistleblower Charges New Mexico Hospital Laboratory Ignored Quality Control Measures

Originally published in BNA’s Health Care Daily Report, 158 HCDR, 08/16/2012.

A federal trial judge Aug. 8 unsealed a qui tam whistleblower’s lawsuit alleging that New Mexico based Deming Hospital Corp. submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid for microbiology lab services performed without adhering to required quality control procedures (United States ex rel. Hansen v. Deming Hospital Corp., D.N.M., No. 2:11-cv-00566, unsealed 8/8/12).

In her complaint, whistleblower Sally Hansen alleged that Deming Hospital, d/b/a/ Mimbres Memorial Hospital, Deming, N.M., submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid based on lab services performed in violation of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA). Because reimbursement eligibility depends on compliance with CLIA, Mimbres’s submissions violated federal and state false claims act and similar state statutes, the complaint said. Hansen worked as a medical technologist for Mimbres.

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