Washington's Whidbey General to Lose $1.7M in Medicare Charges Over Stark Law Violations

Whidbey General Hospital in Coupeville, Wash., will forego approximately $1.7 million in Medicare billings due to Stark Law violations, according to a Seattle Post Intelligencer report.

The hospital had to hold off billing Medicare from those physician's involved in the Stark Law violations, which the hospital self-disclosed in 2008 to the HHS Office of the Inspector General.

Whidbey General CFO Joe Vessey said $4.85 million worth of Medicare billings were affected by the Stark Law. The hospital only expects to be reimbursed 35 percent of the amount billed. For instance, in 2010, it billed approximately $72 million to Medicare but received $25 million in reimbursements.

Whidbey General has offered a $854,000 settlement but there has not been word on whether the amount will be accepted by the OIG.

Read the Seattle Post Intelligencer report on Whidbey General Hospital's Medicare billings and Stark Law violations.

Read about other Stark Law violations:

- 10 Big Anti-Kickback and Stark Cases Involving Hospitals in 2010

- An Often Misunderstood Stark Law Exception: Ownership Exception

- South Carolina's Tuomey Healthcare Appeals Stark Law Fine

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