California's El Centro Regional Medical Center to Pay $2.2M to Settle Medicare Fraud Allegations

El Centro Regional Medical Center, located in Imperial County, Calif., has agreed to pay $2.2 million to the government to settle Medicare fraud allegations, according to a DOJ news release.

The government accuses the medical center of inflating charges for services provided to Medicare patients in order to receive larger reimbursements from the federal healthcare program. The claims submitted by the facility were for short inpatient admissions when, in fact, the services should have been billed on an outpatient "observation" basis or as emergency room visits, according to the report.

The alleged Medicare fraud was brought to light by Pietro Ingrande, a former employee of the medical center. Mr. Ingrande will receive $375,000 under the qui tam, or whistleblower, provisions of the False Claims Act, which permit private citizens with knowledge of fraud against the government to bring an action on behalf of the United States and share in any recovery.

Read the DOJ news release about El Centro Regional Medical Center's settlement.

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