November 16th, 2010 | Income Approach & Methods | Medicare | Noncompete Agreements | Regulatory Matters

In this newly released case involving a whistleblower on whose behalf the government had intervened, both parties moved for Summary Judgment. The case involved the sublease of a Nuclear Camera by two physicians on the BRMC staff who were threatened with loss of provileges for competing with BRMC in the provision of Nuclear Medicine scans. More importantly, a Valuation of a “noncompete” prepared by a CPA appears to be at the center of the case.

“Before entering into a final sublease, BRMC had a “fair market value” assessment prepared by an accountant, REDACTED. (Leonhardt Dep. at 54; BRMC 30(b)(6) Dep. at 146-148.) BRMC sought this report to determine whether BRMC was paying fair market value under the proposed sublease arrangement. (Leonhardt Dep. at 54-55; BRMC 30(b)(6) Dep. at 148-149.) In September 2003, the Board of BRMC received Mr. REDACTED‘s report . The report concluded that the amounts to be paid pursuant to the proposed sublease were reasonable. (BRMC 30(b)(6) Dep. Appx., at 146-149.)”

“In performing his fair market value analysis, Mr. REDACTED compared the revenues BRMC expected to generate with the sublease in place to the revenues BRMC expected to receive without the sublease in place. (Report of REDACTED, C.P.A.; Leonhardt Dep. at 55-56.) The projections were based on the expectation that V&S would refer such business to the hospital if the sublease arrangement was approved. (Id.) According to Defendants, the basis of Mr. REDACTED‘s report was what benefits BRMC would have lost had it terminated the medical staff appointment and clinical privileges of Drs. Vaccaro and Saleh pursuant to BRMC‘s Policy. BRMC advised Drs. Vaccaro and Saleh that its valuation expert indicated that he could support the fair market value of the Sublease, however neither Vaccaro nor Saleh received or reviewed a copy of Mr. REDACTED‘s written valuation.”

The decision is 69 pages long and well worth reading. In denying both parties cross-motions for Summary Judgment the Court concluded

“Again, the record evidence is not strongly in favor of Defendants [BRMC et al] as it tends to show that Defendants entered into the Equipment Sublease fully aware that the arrangement, which had at its core a non-compete payment roughly equal to the referral business BRMC would gain from the doctors and the business V&S would lose from abandoning its own camera, may not be permitted under the Stark Act and Anti-Kickback Act. However, we are unable to conclude as a matter of law that Defendants acted ?knowingly? for purposes of the False Claims Act.”

“For the foregoing reasons, we will deny Defendants’ motions for summary judgment, and grant in part, and deny in part, Relators’ motion for summary judgment.”

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