Nurse files whistle-blower lawsuit, alleges fraud at Kansas hospital

A whistle-blower lawsuit filed by a former emergency department nurse at Lawrence (Kan.) Memorial Hospital claiming the hospital falsified patient records to obtain higher Medicare and Medicaid payments has been unsealed, according to a KCUR report.

The lawsuit was originally filed more than a year ago, but was sealed until the federal government recently decided not to join the case.

Megen Duffy, who worked as a registered nurse at LMH from 2009 until she was fired in October 2013, brought the lawsuit, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Kan.

In her lawsuit, Ms. Duffy claims emergency room personnel at LMH were instructed to falsely record electrocardiogram times as arrival times for possible heart attack patients. This practice was put into place to conceal "any time the patient spent in the waiting room, at registration or in triage," according to Ms. Duffy's lawsuit.

The practice of falsifying the patient arrival times inflated LMH's performance data, which qualified the hospital for higher incentive payments, according to Ms. Duffy's complaint.

Ms. Duffy also takes issue with her termination from the hospital in her lawsuit. She claims the reason for her termination was "fabricated," according to the report.

LMH told KCUR on Monday that it had not yet seen the lawsuit, and Gene Meyer, CEO at LMH, said, "I can categorically deny that LMH has any policies or intention to defraud the government," according to KCUR.

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