Hospital billing fraud: 7 latest settlements

Here are seven healthcare organizations that entered into settlements to resolve billing fraud allegations in the past two months:

1. Sanford Health will pay $20M to settle false claims lawsuit
Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Sanford Health agreed to pay $20.25 million to settle False Claims Act lawsuit. The settlement resolves allegations that Sanford knew one of its neurosurgeons was receiving kickbacks from using devices distributed by a company he owned. Despite repeated warnings from the neurosurgeon's colleagues, Sanford allegedly continued to employ him, continued to allow him to profit from the devices he used in surgeries performed at Sanford, and continued to submit claims to government payers for these surgeries, some of which were medically unnecessary.

2. Louisiana hospital owners, operators to pay $500K to resolve false claims allegations
The owners and operators of University Health Hospital in Shreveport, La., reached a half-million dollar settlement to resolve allegations that they violated the False Claims Act and other laws.

3. Northwell Health pays millions to settle concurrent surgery suit
New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health agreed to pay $12.3 million to resolve allegations that a former urology surgeon at Northwell's Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City defrauded Medicare by billing for surgeries performed by trainees while he operated on other patients.

4. Sutter Health to settle kickback lawsuit for $30M
Sacramento, Calif.-based Sutter Health paid $30 million to settle allegations of a referral fraud scheme. The lawsuit alleged one medical group, Sacramento Cardiovascular Surgeons Medical Group, was billing for more than 40 hours per week for five weeks per month, and also billed for vacation time as if it were spent working. The group allegedly had a deal with Sutter to receive free physician assistants, whose salaries were paid for by the health system, if they referred patients within the system. It then also billed Medicare and other payers for services provided by the physician assistants.

5. Vibra Healthcare to pay $6M to settle 2016 whistleblower suit
Mechanicsburg, Pa.-based Vibra Healthcare will pay $6.25 million to resolve whistleblower allegations against Highlands Rehabilitation Hospital in El Paso, Texas. The lawsuit alleged that Highlands and others submitted false claims that did not meet Medicare requirements for reimbursement.

6. Alabama hospital, former executive settle false billing case
An Alabama hospital and one of its former executives are among a group of defendants who agreed to pay a combined $1.45 million to resolve a false claims lawsuit alleging they submitted fraudulent claims to Medicare.

7. Fresenius to pay $5.2M to settle Medicare whistleblower charges
Fresenius Medical Care will pay $5.2 million to resolve whistleblower allegations that it ran Hepatitis B tests on dialysis patients more frequently than medically necessary and overbilled Medicare.

More articles on legal and regulatory issues:

Neurosurgeon hit with false claims complaint after Sanford's $20M settlement
Former CEO will sell California health clinics to settle billing fraud allegations
Investment bank sues Georgia hospital for $4.7M in unpaid fees

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