Arizona medical center to pay $5.85M to resolve false claims allegations

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Prescott Valley, Ariz.-based Yavapai Regional Medical Center agreed to pay $5.85 million to resolve allegations the medical center misreported the number of hours worked by some employees in order to inflate the amount of funding it received from Medicaid, according to the Department of Justice.

DOJ officials contend that the medical center misreported the hours worked by its employees on its annual cost reports from 2006 to 2009. Medicaid uses a hospital's wage index to determine the amount a hospital should receive in payments. Because Yavapai artificially inflated the index, the DOJ claims the federal government improperly paid the hospital $19.1 million ─ substantially more than the hospital was warranted.

The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed in April by Gregory Kuzma under the qui tam provision of the False Claims Act. Mr. Kuzma will receive approximately $1.17 million under the provision.

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