Whistleblower Suit Alleges Florida Adventist Hospitals Overbilled Tens of Millions

A whistleblower lawsuit filed by a former Florida Hospital Orlando employee and staff physician claims seven Adventist Health hospitals in Florida overbilled the government for tens of millions of dollars, according to an Orlando Sentinel report.

Amanda Dittman, a bill-coding and compliance officer, and Charlotte Elenberger, MD, a radiologist, were employed or affiliated with Florida Hospital Orlando between 1995 and 2009. They filed suit in July 2010, alleging the improper billing took place in the time span of their employment/affiliation. Their suit was unsealed by U.S. District Judge John Antoon last week.

The suit claims the hospitals used improper coding to overbill Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare. Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based Adventist asked Judge Antoon to dismiss the case for insufficient evidence, but he denied that motion, citing the evidence as "extensive and sufficient," according to the report.

Hospitals that allegedly partook in the overbilling include Florida Hospital Orlando, Florida Hospital Altamonte, Florida Hospital East Orlando, Florida Hospital Apopka, Florida Hospital Celebration Health, Florida Hospital Kissimmee and Winter Park Memorial Hospital.

A trial is set for December 2013.

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