Whistle-blower: Johns Hopkins prioritizes out-of-state patients to boost revenue

A former supervisor in the patient appointments department at Baltimore-based Johns Hopkins Health System filed a lawsuit Wednesday accusing the system of favoring out-of-state patients over Maryland residents to increase revenue, according to The Baltimore Sun.

In his lawsuit against the health system, Anthony C. Campos claims he was directed by higher-ups to fill the appointment schedule with patients from outside Maryland.

Maryland hospitals are required to operate under global budgets assigned to them by the state. The budgets, which were put into place as part of an effort to cut healthcare costs and improve care, limit hospitals' annual revenue. The budgets only apply to patients who are Maryland residents; therefore, any funds generated by treating out-of-state patients are additional revenue for the hospital, according to the report.

The lawsuit alleges Johns Hopkins is violating its budget agreement with the state by denying services to patients for inappropriate financial reasons. The lawsuit contends Johns Hopkins hid the illegal activity from CMS and the state's Health Services Cost Review Commission. 

In a statement issued Wednesday, Johns Hopkins said the lawsuit is meritless. "Safe and high quality care for all patients, regardless of where they live, is our number one priority. Our census shows that the majority of our patients are from Maryland and that the number has steadily increased over the past several years," the health system said.

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