VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - A worker at Halifax Health in Volusia County said working there hasn’t been easy since she blew the whistle and exposed one of the country’s largest cases of fraud at a local hospital.
Elin Baklid-Kunz is set to get close to a $21 million settlement for their lawsuit that alerted the justice department about issues at Halifax Health.
Earlier this month, hospital officials agreed to the first of what could be several settlements in the massive fraud case.
WFTV first spoke to Baklid-Kunz, who investigators said claimed that the hospital encouraged doctors to perform unnecessary procedures and billed Medicare.
Hospital officials deny any wrong-doing.
Baklid-Kunz said while many of her co-workers avoid her, there are many others here and across the country commending her for coming forward.
She’s still the director of physician services at the Halifax Medical Center, but said her work at the hospital has changed ever since she blew the whistle.
"It's more about me than what actually happened, and what laws were broken and that's amazing to me,” Baklid-Kunz said.
She and her attorneys are set to receive more than $20 million from their lawsuit that alerted the U.S. Department of Justice to the issues at the hospital.
Baklid-Kunz said she didn't want money, and she was concerned about the patients' care.
She believes she is being blamed for a potential financial pitfall now looming at Halifax.
"What's being communicated to the employees is that I'm the reason why we may have layoffs, and why we have to pay all of this money, and that's just really surprising to me,” she said.
Halifax Medical Center issued a statement saying Baklid-Kunz continues to be employed by Halifax Hospital and retains her managerial duties.
It said she is invited to attend manager’s meetings, meets regularly with her supervisor, and has work duties to fulfill.
This summer, another lawsuit from Baklid-Kunz and her attorneys is set to go to trial to determine whether Halifax admitted patients unnecessarily