Anesthesia Group to Pay $1 Million to Resolve Kickback Allegations

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Sweet Dreams Nurse Anesthesia agreed to pay to the United States more than $1 million and the State of Georgia $12,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act by paying unlawful kickbacks to healthcare providers with the intent to induce referrals of Medicare and Medicaid patients, according to a press release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

One alleged scheme resolved by the settlement concerns Sweet Dreams’ provision of free anesthesia drugs to ambulatory surgery centers (ASCs) in exchange for the ASCs granting Sweet Dreams an exclusive contract to provide anesthesia services at those ASCs.

A second alleged scheme resolved by the settlement concerns the agreement of an affiliate of Sweet Dreams to fund the construction of an ASC in Marietta, Georgia, in exchange for contracts for Sweet Dreams’ selection as the exclusive anesthesia provider at that facility and a number of other podiatry-based ASCs affiliated with the Marietta ASC.

This investigation began with a lawsuit filed by Adam Nauss under the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act and the False Medicaid Claims Act.

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