In wake of Wheeling lawsuit, two hospitals to close in Ohio, West Virginia

GavelLate last week, Ohio Valley Medical Center (OVMC) in Wheeling, West Virginia and East Ohio Regional Hospital (EORH) in Martins Ferry, Ohio announced their impending closure. The two facilities are set to close in a few months, putting nearly 1,200 employees out of work.

President and CEO Daniel C. Dunmyer’s statement reads: “OVMC, EORH and their physician practices have lost more than $37 million over the past 2 years as they struggled to overcome declining volumes, declining reimbursement, and the substantial harm caused by the conduct alleged by the government in United States of America ex. rel. Louis Longo v. Wheeling Hospital, Inc., R&V Associates, LTD., and Ronald L Violi.”

Back in March, the Department of Justice (DOJ) entered a federal whistleblower lawsuit alleging that West Virginia’s Wheeling Hospital was in violation of the Stark Law, Anti-Kickback Statute, and the False Claims Act. 

Louis Longo, Wheeling’s former executive vice president, claimed that the hospital nurtured a relationship with R&V Associates founded on overcompensation and kickbacks. The duration of Wheeling’s relationship with R&V saw the hospital a $90 million profit. 

For the most part, Stark, AKS, and FCA violations are seen only as harmful to the government–faceless men in suits. The phrase ‘defrauding the government’ hardly elicits an emotional response. 

Your organization’s compliance–or lack thereof–can affect people just like yourself. Questions or concerns? Click here for the latest insights into physician contracting compliance, or reach us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to speak with one of our experts. 

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Broward Health Settles With Former CEO

GavelBig news from Florida as Broward Health approved a $975,000 settlement with former CEO Pauline Grant after she was fired for unproven kickback allegations. “It’s time to close this chapter in a way that’s as amicable as possible,” Broward Health Commissioner Christopher Ure said at a board meeting last week announcing the settlement. Broward Health operates four hospitals and additional outpatient and urgent care centers in the South Florida area. They are now under new leadership and pledging their full cooperation with the ongoing federal investigation. 

According to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, the settlement ends all pending legal matters involving Broward Health and Grant and also includes an agreement from Grant to cooperate and assist the hospital system in a pending federal investigation into potential anti-kickback violations. 

The kickback allegations are in relation to orthopedic surgeon contracts for on-call emergency department rotation. Grant denied ever being aware or participating in the scheme, which is why she decided to fight back against allegations of her involvement. Her brief tenure as CEO lasted less than a year, from late January to December 2016. 

MD Ranger provides fair market value benchmarks for more than 300 physician services, including call coverage benchmarks for orthopedic surgery. If you need access to these rates, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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MD Ranger Spotlight: Lauren

LaurenLauren is a Senior Sales Executive at MD Ranger.  She has worked with legal and compliance teams in healthcare organizations for nearly a decade. She has refined physician contracting processes, assisted with audits, and helped guide overall contracting strategy. She has worked with companies under Corporate Integrity Agreements as well as healthcare organizations that have no pre-existing formal contracting process.  Lauren particularly relishes partnering with teams that strive to put compliance front and center. 

Tell me how you first got involved with MD Ranger.
I was looking for an organization whose product I truly believed could transform the healthcare industry, as well as an organization that internally promotes culture and growth.  MD Ranger has this mindset, and it results in a fantastic experience for our subscribers.

I have always loved working with hospital legal and compliance departments, specifically with contracting processes. I have seen the challenges hospitals face in relation to cost management as well as physician contracting, so MD Ranger was a great fit. The opportunity to impact the healthcare community and help develop products that make our subscribers’ jobs easier was a big driver to join MD Ranger.

What do you love about MD Ranger?
The teamwork, culture, and respect everyone has for each other. This resonates throughout the company and motivates everyone to work harder and serve our subscribers better. The collaboration that the team participates in is very encouraging and insightful.

What do you find most challenging about your work?
Being new, the learning curve is challenging. It’s incredibly satisfying because there’s a lot of self education that you can do to prepare yourself but there is so much organizational knowledge that will take time to learn. I’m ready to be a subject matter expert!

In your opinion, what are some of the greatest challenges that healthcare organizations face when it comes to physician contracting?
Poor survey data is something we frequently hear about. Another common theme is not knowing where to start or where to focus with their physician contracting process. It’s unfortunate, but we hear about lack of support for implementation of physician compensation processes and documentation a lot.

How would you describe a typical “day in the life”?
Every day is completely different in my role and my ‘to do’ list is growing. One of my top priorities is to ensure to follow up with potential subscribers and making sure that all action items from discussions have been resolved. The next priority is strategizing on how to best help grow the business while maintaining the utmost care of our current subscribers. Lastly, I try to learn something new about the industry or business each day. Understanding the regulations that govern the industry is challenging and an ever growing task. 

Who have been the most influential people in your career?
I’m fortunate to have mentors that impact their organizations in a positive way for the clients and employees. Strong leaders who focus on expanding their team’s growth through empowerment and independence have also had a significant impact. Also, professionals that can balance work life and home life while still pursuing their goals and not losing sight of  any of these aspects. 

What do you do in your spare time?
I love reading, cooking, and anything outside including hiking, jogging, and kayaking! I also love my animals and getting to spend my free time with them. 

What might someone be surprised to know about you?
I have never broken a bone and I love target shooting. And I’m a better shot than my husband.

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MD Ranger Spotlight: Noah

NoahFor our third installment of MD Ranger's 10-year anniversary spotlight series, we are highlighting our Summer Intern, Noah Galper.

We have been thrilled having Noah join us as our Summer Intern. In a short period of time, he has immersed himself in the world of physician contracting and is someone that we enjoy having around the office. As you'll read in our conversation below, he is a very driven induvidual and has a bright future ahead of him. 

Where are you going to college and what is your major?
I go to Claremont McKenna College and I plan to major in Applied Math. 

What has surprised you the most about working at MD Ranger?
For my brief tenure at MD Ranger, the team designed an 8-week plan intended to educate me in the world of physician contracting compliance. I was–and continue to be–surprised by the team’s investment in my experience. I think that it’s rare for an intern to be afforded both responsibility and educational opportunity. I’m so grateful for the thought the team has put into my professional development. 

What do you find most challenging about the internship?
MD Ranger inhabits an extremely unique niche. Healthcare organizations subscribe to MD Ranger because even industry professionals struggle with the intricacies of physician contracting. Individually, healthcare and business terminology can be daunting to the uninitiated; this combination of the two is a whole different animal. Understanding the full scope and function of MD Ranger’s product in such a short period of time has been difficult, but manageable. It gets easier every day. 

What have you enjoyed the most about working at MD Ranger? 
Learning about MD Ranger’s niche has been fascinating. Don’t get me wrong–it’s difficult, but I feel like this internship has doubled as a summer class. I’m going to walk away from this experience with tangible knowledge of hospital organizations and their compliance regulations. 

How would you describe a typical “day in the life”?
It’s difficult for me to describe a “typical” day on the job. Although I have several long-term projects, I have yet to spend a day plugging away at the same task. I think that this is part of what makes working at MD Ranger so rewarding. Between answering customer service calls, attending team meetings, and working on a slew of day-to-day assignments, I’m kept on my toes.

What do you do in your spare time?
I am an avid Redditor, gym-goer, and concert attendee. I enjoy listening to music, watching movies, and reading science fiction. 

What might someone be surprised to know about you? 
This usually elicits a strange response–I love driving long distances. There is something incredibly cathartic about peeling down an interstate highway and watching the scenery change alongside you. I especially enjoy driving in the Pacific Northwest.  

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