A suburban Chicago medical center has agreed to pay $36 million to the federal government and the State of Illinois to resolve issues related to improper payments, leases and loans to physicians ($33 million to Medicare and $3 million to the state) that took place from 2002 through 2007. Condell Health Center (Condell) voluntarily disclosed that it received improper Medicare and Medicaid payments; it did not admit liability. By agreeing to the settlement, the hospital prevented the federal government from filing a lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act. The violations were uncovered as part of the medical center’s due diligence with Advocate Health Care, which had entered into a deal to buy the hospital. Three aspects of Condell’s relationship to physicians were part of the settlement: (1) leases of medical space at rates below fair market value; (2) improper loans to physicians; and (3) reimbursement to physicians who performed services without written agreements. The settlement is a timely reminder for hospitals to review their relationships with physicians, particularly focusing on ensuring that leases and other relationships are entered into at fair market value. For more information, read here.