On September 1, 2017, Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center, along with its partner Christus Health (“Christus”), agreed to pay $12.24 million for violations of the False Claims Act (“FCA”) to settle DOJ charges that they made illegal donations to local county governments which then funded the state share of Medicaid payments to the hospital.  Santa Fe’s now-defunct Sole Community Provider (“SCP”) Program provided supplemental Medicaid funds to hospitals in underserved communities, and the federal government reimbursed approximately 75% of state Medicaid expenditures under the program.  By law, New Mexico had to contribute the remaining 25% from state or county funds, and were forbidden to use “donations” from private hospitals.  The allegations originally surfaced in a lawsuit filed by a former Indigent Healthcare Administrator from Los Alamos County under the qui tam provisions of the FCA, who will receive $2.249 million as her share of recovery in this case.  U.S. ex rel. Stepan v. Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center Corp., Civil Action No. 11-cv-572 (D.N.M.).

DOJ Press Release