Adventist Health System to pay $2M for allegedly giving leftover chemo to patients

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Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based Adventist Health System Sunbelt Healthcare has agreed to pay the federal government $2.09 million to resolve allegations that patients at one of its hospitals were administered leftover portions of single-dose vials of chemotherapy drugs, according to the Department of Justice.

To prevent the spread of harmful agents from one patient to another, single-dose vials of chemotherapy drugs can only be administered to one patient, and there are very few strict exceptions to this rule.

According to the DOJ, an Adventist location in Central Florida improperly administered chemotherapy to more than one patient using the same single-dose vial. The hospital's inappropriate use of the single-dose vials allegedly caused some patients to be admitted for treatment.

Adventist also allegedly upcoded for certain infusion services between late 2007 and mid-2011, according to the DOJ.

Adventist self-disclosed some of the improper acts to the federal government in January 2012. A former Adventist employee, Heather Huddleston, brought the remaining allegations in a whistle-blower lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act in February 2013.

Adventist already repaid $819,828.82 to the federal government for improper claims submitted to federal healthcare programs as a result of the inappropriate use of the single-dose vials and upcoding. That amount will be credited toward the $2.09 million settlement.

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