Catholic Healthcare West To Pay $9.1M To Settle Medicare Billing Issues
On Friday, U.S. Attorney Benjamin Wagner announced that Catholic Healthcare West would pay $9.1 million to settle allegations that its hospitals submitted inaccurate Medicare claims, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.
CHW officials said the hospital chain has been working with the Department of Justice since 2001 to review problematic claims submitted by seven of its hospitals between 1990 and 2000.
The settlement resolves allegations that:
- Community Hospital of San Bernardino, St. Bernadine Medical Center in San Bernardino and St. Elizabeth Community Hospital in Red Bluff received overpayments related to Medicare processing errors and did not return the funds after identifying theÂ problems (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 2/21);
- O'Connor Hospital in San Jose, Seton Medical Center in Daly City and St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix, Ariz., received overpayments after submitting inflated claims for home health agencies;
- St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix overbilled Medicare for the treatment of indigent patients; and
- St. John's Regional Medical Center in Oxnard overbilled Medicare for the treatment of patients with end-stage renal disease.
Tricia Griffin, CHW spokesperson, said the hospital system fully cooperated with DOJ investigators after the billing issues wereÂ identified in 2001.
Griffin said, "CHW is committed to ethical business practices, denied that it intentionally withheld funds, and is pleased to have resolved this matter" (Sabalow, Redding Record Searchlight, 2/18).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.