Feds accuse local hospitals of overcharging
December 12, 2011
Catholic Healthcare West paid $875,564 to the United States to settle allegations that certain of its affiliate hospitals, including French Hospital in San Luis Obispo and Arroyo Grande Community Hospital, overcharged Medicare during a period of almost a decade, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced last week.
These settlements resolve findings that the hospitals overcharged the federal Medicare program through duplicating charges for certain services, duplicating billing for some procedures using different codes, and un-bundling packaged therapy services when the individual procedures should have been billed as a group.
Catholic Healthcare West is the fifth largest hospital provider in the nation and the largest hospital system in California.
U.S. Attorney Wagner said his office actively pursues the recovery of ill gotten Medicare dollars.
“This settlement not only recoups over payments made by Medicare, it helps ensure more accurate billing practices by these hospital systems in the future,” Wagner said.
The settlements are the result of investigations by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Office of Inspector General.