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Dartmouth-Hitchcock to pay $2.2M in whistleblower suit

New Hampshire Union Leader, April 27, 2011

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has settled a case of alleged billing fraud to various federal health programs, such as Medicare, Medicaid and Veterans Affairs. DHMC, which denied any liability in the matter, agreed to pay $2,227,075. The federal government recovers $1.5 million, Vermont $80,396, and New Hampshire $61,541, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Vermont announced Tuesday. The investigation began in 2007 following a complaint filed by Dr. Thomas J. Prendergast, who was a physician in the DHMC pulmonary department in Lebanon. The complaint alleged the hospital improperly billed federal health care programs for services performed by resident staff without sufficient supervision by physicians. Regulations allow physicians to bill for certain services by resident staff, but only if the services are performed in the presence of a physician.