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FL Hospitals Settle $9M For False Medicare Claims

Stethoscope and gavel against a white backdrop.
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Seven hospitals in Florida have agreed to pay the federal government about $9 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to Medicare for a minimally-invasive procedure commonly used to treat spinal fractures from osteoporosis, a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice says.

The hospitals in Florida accused of improperly billing for the kyphoplasty procedures are:

Citrus Memorial Health System in Inverness, which has agreed to pay $2.6 million. Martin Memorial Medical Center in Stuart, which has agreed to pay $2 million. Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, which has agreed to pay $972,000. Tampa General Hospital in Tampa, which has agreed to pay $2 million. Three hospitals affiliated with BayCare Health System in Clearwater, have agreed to pay a total of $1.5 million.These include:Winter Haven Hospital in Winter Haven; St. Joseph’s Hospital in Tampa; and St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg.

The hospitals were accused of billing Medicare for kyphoplasty procedures on an inpatient basis, which costs more, instead of on an outpatient basis.

Additionally, the release noted that “Five hospitals formerly owned and operated by Health Management Associates Inc., in Naples, have agreed to pay a total of $2 million.These include:Biloxi Regional Medical Center in Biloxi, Mississippi; Davis Regional Medical Center in Statesville, North Carolina; Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lancaster, Pennsylvania; Physicians Regional Medical Center in Naples; and Riley Hospital in Meridian, Mississippi.”

-- Health News Florida receives support from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.