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55 Hospitals to Settle False Medicare Claim Charges for $34M

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, July 3, 2013

In an e-mail exchange, an HCA spokesperson stated, "we are pleased to see new clarification of industry care standards, which help physicians make decisions regarding kyphoplasty patients, and we are confident as a result that this issue has been resolved."

HCA, which operates 162 hospitals in 22 states, is no stranger to fraud settlements. Between 2000 and 2003, HCA paid $1.7 billion to the federal government to settle an extensive false claims investigation that included Medicare and other federal health programs.

In addition to the 23 HCA hospitals, other multi-location facilities in the kyphoplasty settlement include:

  • Six hospitals affiliated with the Brentwood, TN-based Lifepoint Hospitals Inc., which will pay $2.5 million.
  • Five hospitals affiliated with the Livonia, MI-based Trinity Health, which will pay $2.4 million.
  • Four hospitals affiliated with the Clearwater, FL-based Morton Plant Mease BayCare Health System, which will pay $3.9 million.

The settlements bring to a close an investigation that has led to more than 100 hospitals paying $75 million to resolve allegations that they mischarged Medicare for kyphoplasty procedures.

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