MORGANTOWN, W.Va.-West Virginia University Hospitals will repay $4.7 million to the federal government that it was overpaid for serving Medicaid patients. Under a lawsuit settlement announced last month, Ohio Valley Medical Center in Wheeling, W.Va., will pay back about $133,000, said Bruce McClymonds, executive vice president of WVU Hospitals. A 1994 federal audit found that the hospitals had been overpaid $13.4 million for services to low-income patients. The federal government sought repayment from the state, which sought repayment from the hospitals. The two hospitals together sued the state and federal government in 1995 because they disputed the amount they owed. The audit indic ated WVU Hospitals had been overpaid $13 million and Ohio Valley Medical Center had received $400,000 too much, McClymonds said. Under the settlement, each hospital agreed to pay one-third of the amount the audit indicated they owe d, the state agreed to pay one-third of the total and the federal government agreed to forgive one-third of the total, McClymonds said. The case had been scheduled to go to trial early next year. WVU Hospitals will not have to make any cuts to repay the $4.7 million, McClymonds said. "We had been anticipating this settlement now for several months and had been setting aside some of our reserves," he said. The disputed payments were made between 1991 and 19 93 under the Medicaid disproportionate-share program, in which hospitals receive additional payments if they serve a larger than average number of Medicaid patients.
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