Penn Highlands Healthcare, an eight-hospital system in Pennsylvania, has agreed to pay $750,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging they violated the Physician Self-Referral Law (or Stark Law) which prohibits doctors from referring patients to doctors that the hospital has a financial relationship with. The lawsuit, filed by three former Penn Highlands employees, claimed the system improperly paid doctors over $420,000 between 2009 and 2012. Penn Highlands “vigorously denies the allegations,” but agreed to settle to avoid further investigation. While they say patient care was not affected, the settlement highlights the importance of whistleblowers in uncovering healthcare fraud. The whistleblowers who filed the original complaint will receive $154,350 as part of the settlement.