The Cleveland Clinic will pay $2.3 million to resolve civil False Claims Act charges against the home health division of its Meridia Health System. The former Meridia Home Health and Meridia Institute allegedly claimed non-home-health costs on their 1995 and 1996 Medicare cost reports to obtain higher cost-based reimbursement. Their parent company, Meridia, was acquired by the Cleveland Clinic in 1997. Medicare switched to a prospective payment system for home health in October 2002. In a statement, a clinic spokeswoman said the home health division "believes that it operated within all applicable regulatory requirements and admits no wrongdoing." In a separate recent settlement, 702-bed Mission Hospital, Asheville, N.C., agreed to pay about $129,000 to settle allegations that it used improper diagnosis codes on claims for radiological tests to maximize reimbursement. A hospital spokeswoman said hospital officials began working with the U.S. Justice Department after identifying the problem in 2000. "We thought we were billing correctly, but when told otherwise we immediately corrected the problem and offered to resolve it promptly," she said. -- by Mark Taylor
Cleveland Clinic, N.C. hospital settle fraud cases
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