January 25, 2016

December 18, 2015

Thirty-two hospitals in 15 states agreed to pay more than $28 million to settle charges they violated the False Claims Act by submitting false claims to Medicare for minimally-invasive kyphoplasty procedures used to treat certain spinal fractures often arising from osteoporosis.  According to the government, the settling hospitals billed Medicare for these procedures on a more costly inpatient basis when they should have been billed on a less costly outpatient basis.  The government has now reached settlements with more than 130 hospitals totaling approximately $105 million to resolve allegations of overcharging Medicare for kyphoplasty procedures.  The 15 current settling hospitals include: The Cleveland Clinic (Ohio); Citrus Memorial Health System (Florida); Cullman Regional Medical Center (Alabama); Martin Memorial Medical Center (Florida); MultiCare Tacoma General Hospital (Washington); Norwalk Hospital (Connecticut); Princeton Community Hospital Association (West Virginia); Sacred Heart Medical Center (Washington); Sarasota Memorial Hospital (Florida); Spartanburg Regional Health Services District Inc. (South Carolina); St. Cloud Hospital (Minnesota); Tampa General Hospital (Florida); 5 hospitals affiliated with Community Health Systems Inc. (Tennessee); 5 hospitals affiliated with Tenet Health Care Corporation (Texas); 5 hospitals formerly owned and operated by Health Management Associates (Florida); 3 hospitals affiliated with BayCare Health System (Florida); and 2 hospitals affiliated with Banner Health (Arizona).  In addition, the government previously settled with Medtronic Spine LLC, the corporate successor to Kyphon Inc., for $75 million to settle allegations the company caused false claims to be submitted to Medicare by counseling hospital providers to perform kyphoplasty procedures as inpatient rather than outpatient procedures.  All but 3 of the current settlements originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Craig Patrick, a former Kyphon reimbursement manager, and Charles Bates, a former Kyphon sales manager for Kyphon.  They will receive a whistleblower award of roughly $4.75 million from the proceeds of the government’s recovery.  DOJ

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