Kaiser Permanente To Pay $3.75M To Settle Claims Over False Bills
Kaiser Permanente has agreed to pay $3.75 million to settle claims that it falsely billed the federal government for treatment provided to patients enrolled in Medicare and Medi-Cal, California's Medicaid program, the Los Angeles Times reports.
Federal officials alleged that from 1996 through 2002, Kaiser submitted bills for services provided by unsupervised medical residents, but the bills indicated that teaching physicians provided the care.
Regulations require health care providers to record the presence of teaching physicians in order to bill for services provided by medical residents.
In a statement, Kaiser called the billing errors a record-keeping issue. Kaiser said it informed government officials about the documentation problems after discovering them during a 2005 internal review (Girion, Los Angeles Times, 12/4).
Kaiser denied liability for the billing problems and said it decided to pay the settlement to avoid the uncertainty of a court case.
Of the settlement funds, $3.4 million will go to the federal government and $350,000 will go to the state (Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, 12/4).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.