Bloomberg Press, January 17, 2011

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services was sued over Medicare reimbursements by the Arizona hospital where U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords is being treated.

University Medical Center is challenging the health department over how to calculate the number of residents at the teaching hospital for Medicare reimbursement purposes. The facility asked in a complaint filed yesterday in Tucson federal court for a judge’s order that the health department incorrectly overruled a review board that had sided with the hospital.

Medicare is the U.S. government’s health program for the elderly and disabled. Teaching hospitals can seek additional payment from the government for the Medicare patients they treat because these hospitals have higher-than-average costs, according to the complaint. The additional reimbursement is in part determined by the number of residents, the hospital said.

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