Friday, December 31, 2004
HealthSouth is back in the news today.
First because as reported by the New York Times in a story titled, "Trial of Ex-Chief of HealthSouth is Set to Open" that "[y]esterday, in a separate proceeding, the management of HealthSouth agreed to pay the government $325 million plus interest to settle claims that the company had inflated its Medicare bills." According to an AP story in the Wall Street Journal, "[t]he payment includes an initial amount of $75 million and the balance to be paid quarterly over three years."
Second because the trial is about to open in Birmingham, Alabama. The NYTimes quotes Professor Pam Bucy (Alabama) as saying that "Mr. Scrushy's lawyers might argue that their client delegated authority to his chief financial officer and other staff members and 'was unaware that they were inflating the earnings numbers of the company.'" Professor Bucy, a professor at University of Alabama authored the book "Health Care Fraud (Law Journal Seminars Press 1996)."
What will be the effect of the this settlement on the upcoming trial?