The Naples News, August 11, 2010

The former executive of Physicians Regional Medical Center at Collier Boulevard has filed a whistleblower lawsuit against Health Management Associates that says the hospital chain illegally induced physicians with money and favors in exchange for patients referrals, according to the complaint unsealed last week in federal court in Tampa. The lawsuit was filed under seal in January by Michael Mastej, the former CEO of the 100-bed hospital when it opened in February 2007. He was terminated eight months later in October 2007. Mastej had worked at the Naples-based HMA starting in 2001, serving as vice president of acquisitions before taking the helm of the new East Naples hospital and overseeing its construction and launch. In his lawsuit, Mastej said HMA officials induced physicians to refer patients to its hospitals in Naples by making payments to them, disguised as payments for on-call services, by providing reduced or free rentals for offices, and by flying physicians by private jet to the Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA.



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