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Former manager smells blood, files whistle-blower lawsuit

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in Firing,Human Resources

The former billing manager for Abing­­ton Memorial Hospital in Mont­­gomery County, Pennsylvania, has filed a ­­whistle-blower suit against her former employer. She claims she was fired for alleging that the hospital lab mislabeled blood samples to increase the fees it could charge.

According to the suit, the hospital has a contract with an outside lab to process routine blood work. How­­ever, the hospital can analyze samples marked “urgent” in-house and get paid for them. The billing manager alleged hospital employees were marking samples as urgent when they were not.

She raised these issues with the hospital’s compliance officer and scheduled a meeting. But the day of the meeting, she was abruptly terminated, ending a 26-year career with the hospital.

The hospital contends there is no connection between the termination and the woman’s whistle-blowing. It initially claimed she was fired for violating hospital privacy rules and using a racial slur. Then it said that, while it could not substantiate the slur allegations, she had used “language that was not how they would like their managers to communicate” in an email six months earlier.

The woman’s lawsuit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for wrongful termination and violations of the Pennsylvania Whistleblower Law and the federal False Claims Act.

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