We are disappointed by the Department of Justice’s decision to seek to intervene in this qui tam lawsuit; nothing has changed about the case since DOJ’s initial decision not to intervene in September 2019. The lawsuit seeks to portray customary and legal business arrangements between MLH and West Clinic physicians as illegal activities. The allegations in the suit are without merit and we will vigorously defend against them.
The suit amounts to after-the-fact second guessing of the level of payments MLH made to West Clinic for the services provided by its physicians. This compensation structure was designed by respected outside experts who determined it reflected fair market value for such services, and our payments for those services were appropriate. MLH received every service due under the management services agreement.
As we said when the litigation began, we uphold the highest standards and comply with all legal and regulatory requirements and are proud of what our partnership with West Clinic accomplished. The affiliation, similar to arrangements between medical specialty groups and providers around the country, was successful and did exactly what it was intended to do: create an integrated cancer diagnosis, treatment and surgical service that improved cancer care and led to better patient outcomes for the Memphis community. Among other outcomes, the affiliation:
- Generated $138 million for uncompensated health care.
- Resulted in improved long-term breast, lung, uterine, and colon cancer survival outcomes.
- Increased the number of patients screened for clinical trials and receiving genetic and molecular testing and palliative and hospice care.
- Reduced cancer-related hospital admissions, re-admissions, and emergency room visits and admissions; reduced surgical-site infections, central-line infections, and post-op infection rates.
- Met or exceeded national benchmarks for medical oncology, gynecologic oncology, transplants, and radiation oncology.
We set ambitious goals when we entered the partnership and met them. We will continue to enhance our cancer care services, as we pursue our mission to serve our patients and our community and provide them with the best health care possible.