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Kalispell Regional Healthcare Fined After Failing To Comply With Lawsuit Settlement Requirements

Kalispell Regional Medical Center.
Courtesy Kalispell Regional Medical Center.

Kalispell Regional Healthcare (KRH) was fined $65,000 this summer for failing to comply with training requirements outlined in an agreement with federal authorities. The agreement followed a $24 million settlement in 2018 that ended a lawsuit claiming the hospital violated anti-kickback laws.

After KRH settled the lawsuit last year, it entered into what’s known as a corporate integrity agreement, or CIA, in December with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Inspector General’s Office.

The five-year agreement essentially outlines how Kalispell Regional Healthcare will work with the office to make sure its employees and board members are complying with federal laws. As part of the agreement, board members and select employees were required to take training on federal anti-kickback laws and other related regulations.

But according to a letter sent by the Inspector General’s Office this August, KRH, “falsely certified” that all of its board members had received the training within the 90-day period following the corporate integrity agreement’s effective date. KRH’s failure to comply with the agreement was first reported by the Daily Inter lake.

According to KRH spokesperson Melody Sharpton, "KRH contacted the OIG in mid-July to self-report that we discovered a particular educational session had not been conducted within their required 90-day timeframe."

Six board members didn’t complete the training until July, 2. KRH has paid the $65,000 fine for failing to comply with its CIA. The hospital says its continuing to work through the compliance steps outlined in the agreement, which includes an independent review of those activities. The organization conducting the review made its first on-site visit in September.

Aaron graduated from the University of Minnesota School of Journalism in 2015 after interning at Minnesota Public Radio. He landed his first reporting gig in Wrangell, Alaska where he enjoyed the remote Alaskan lifestyle and eventually moved back to the road system as the KBBI News Director in Homer, Alaska. He joined the MTPR team in 2019. Aaron now reports on all things in northwest Montana and statewide health care.
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