Columbus Regional timeline: How it unfolded

chwilliams@ledger-enquirer.comJuly 14, 2013 

How it unfolded

July 2010: Dr. Thomas “Jack” Tidwell sells Tidwell Cancer Treatment Center to Columbus Regional Healthcare System for $10.5 million. Though not a Columbus Regional employee, Tidwell continues to practice at the center until his retirement in December 2012.

February 2011: Columbus Regional Healthcare Systems President and Chief Executive Officer Larry Sanders announces his retirement, effective Sept. 30, 2011.

Sept. 26, 2011: Richard Barker becomes administrative director of the John B. Amos Cancer Center.

Oct. 4, 2011: Barker meets with his then-boss, Kevin Sass, chief executive officer for Doctors Hospital. According to the lawsuit, Barker tells Sass about the alleged issues he uncovered with medical documentation of office visits, including that many of the medical oncologists’ patient encounter forms did not support the claims submitted on their behalf. According to the lawsuit, Sass agrees and admits that this was not the first time he has heard of this issue.

December 2011: Charles A. Stark, president and chief executive officer of Firelands Regional Health System in Sandusky, Ohio, is announced as the new president and CEO of Columbus Regional Healthcare System, effective February 2012.

May 18, 2012: Barker files a False Claims Act complaint or qui tam action against Columbus Regional Healthcare System, The Medical Center, the John B. Amos Cancer Center and Regional Oncology LLC. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia, is placed under seal by Judge Clay Land and the defendants are not aware it exists.

Feb. 19, 2013: Sass leaves as senior executive officer of Doctors Hospital.

May 10: Barker amends his False Claims Act complaint against Columbus Regional Healthcare System, The Medical Center, the John B. Amos Cancer Center and Regional Oncology, LLC. The amended claim adds Tidwell and Columbus Radiation Oncology Treatment Center, formerly the Tidwell Cancer Center, as defendants.

May 28: Land issues an order to unseal Barker’s suit, but the complaint does not become public for almost three weeks.

June: Barker, who had worked as administrative director of the John B. Amos Cancer Center while the suit was under seal, is placed on administrative leave with pay, according to his attorney, Jamie Bennett.

Click here to read Unsealed: Top administrator at Amos Cancer Center files federal court claim accusing the center of overbilling government insurers"

What is the False Claims Act? Learn more here

Click here to read Richard Barker's amended claim

Click here to read Richard Barker's original claim

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