St. John's Mercy Health System and St. John's Health System Settle Fraud Allegations for $2.2M

St. John's Mercy Health Care and St. John's Health System, both based in St. Louis, have agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle allegations that foot clinics at St. John's hospitals overbilled Medicare, according to a News-Leaders news report.

In 2009, the Department of Health & Human Services started investigating the St. John's hospitals when a call was made about a licensed practical nurse who was improperly providing podiatry services. Between Jan. 2005 and March 2010, St. John's Hospital and five other hospitals allegedly billed Medicare for podiatry services, such as toenail trimmings and callus removals, that were done by nurses and other hospital employees who were not licensed physicians. Medicare does not typically pay for such podiatry services, and federal investigators claimed the provided services were not medically necessary, according to the report.

A St. John's Hospital spokesperson said that hospital officials believed that claims to federal healthcare programs were being submitted properly and were continuously audited. As part of the settlement, the health systems have also agreed to shut down the six foot clinics and are not admitting to any wrongdoing, according to the report.

Read the News-Leaders news report about St. John's Mercy's and St. John's settlement.

Read other coverage about hospital fraud:

- Trial Beings Over Allegations Former Archbold Medical Center's President Committed Medicaid Fraud

- South Dakota Hospitals Will Pay Government $389K for Overbilling Medicare

- Simi Valley Hospital Settles Medicare Fraud Lawsuit, Agrees to Pay $5.15M

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