5 UHS behavioral health hospitals under investigation for billing fraud

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Five behavioral health hospitals operating in Massachusetts are under investigation by the Department of Justice for possible billing fraud, according to a report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

All five hospitals are owned by King of Prussia, Pa.-based Universal Health Services, the largest provider of mental health services in Massachusetts. The hospitals under investigation include Arbour-HRI in Brookline, Arbour Hospital in Jamaica Plain, Arbour-Fuller Hospital in South Attleboro, Pembroke (Mass.) Hospital and Westwood (Mass.) Lodge Hospital.

In a December letter to UHS, federal investigators said they are looking into billings submitted to government payers for services provided at the mental health facilities, according to the SEC filing.

In Massachusetts, Arbour Health Systems has been cited repeatedly by state regulators for quality concerns and inadequate staffing at its hospital and outpatient clinics, according to The Boston Globe.

Later this spring, the U.S. Supreme Court will review a case filed against Universal Health Services by the parents of a Massachusetts teenager who died after receiving care at an Arbour clinic in Lawrence.

Currently, more than 25 of UHS' 213 inpatient psychiatric hospitals across the U.S. are under federal investigation, reports The Boston Globe. 

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