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$10M settlement reached over false claim allegations at Phoenix hospital

(Facebook Photo/St. Joseph's Hospital and Medical Center)

PHOENIX – St. Joseph’s Hospital and a corporation located on the Phoenix medical center’s campus have agreed to pay $10 million over allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare, authorities said Wednesday.

The hospital, which is operated by Dignity Health, and Neurosurgical Associates, LTD were accused of billing Medicare “for certain doubly and triply concurrent and overlapping surgeries,” according to a Department of Justice press release.

“We expect health care providers participating in Medicare to bill for their services accurately and honestly,” Acting U.S. Attorney Glenn McCormick said in the release.

“Proper billing ensures fair compensation and protects Medicare dollars that are much needed for patient care.”

The monetary agreement, reached in December 2020, settled a civil claim brought under the False Claims Act by whistleblower Dr. Bruce P. Kingsley, according to the release.

“With every Medicare dollar desperately needed, we simply will not tolerate the submission of false claims to this vital health care program,” Timothy B. DeFrancesca, special agent in charge for the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in the release.

The settlement does not mean an admission of liability, according to the release.

“The Department of Justice claims are strictly allegations and the settlement by St. Joseph’s is not an admission of liability,” Dignity Health St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center said in a statement. “St. Joseph’s remains committed to complying with all CMS regulations.”

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