(a) In addition to any liability under G.S. 97-88.2, any health care provider who willfully or intentionally undertakes the following acts is subject to an administrative penalty, assessed by the Commission, not to exceed ten thousand dollars ($10,000):
(1) Submitting charges for health care that was not furnished;
(2) Fraudulently administering, providing, and attempting to collect for inappropriate or unnecessary treatment or services; or
(3) Violating the provisions of Article 28 of Chapter 90 of the General Statutes.
A penalty assessed by the Commission for a violation of subdivision (3) of this subsection is in addition to penalties assessed under G.S. 90-407.
(b) In addition to any liability under G.S. 97-88.2, any health care provider who willfully or intentionally undertakes the following acts is subject to an administrative penalty, assessed by the Commission, not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000):
(1) Failing or refusing to timely file required reports or records;
(2) Making unnecessary referrals; and
(3) Knowingly violating this Article or rules promulgated hereunder, including treatment guidelines, with intention to deceive or to gain improper advantage of a patient, employee, insurer, or the Commission.
(c) A health care provider who knowingly charges or otherwise holds an employee financially responsible for the cost of any services provided for a compensable injury under this Article is guilty of a Class 1 misdemeanor.
(d) Any person, including, but not limited to, an employer, an insurer, and an employee of an insurer, who in good faith comes forward with information under this section, shall not be liable in a civil action.
(e) Information relating to possible violations under this section shall be reported to the Commission which shall refer the same to the appropriate licensing or regulatory board or authority for the health care provider involved.
(f) A hospital that relies in good faith on a written order of a physician in performing health care services shall not be subject to an administrative penalty in violation of this section. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 679, s. 7.2.)