The U.S. Justice Department settled one whistle-blower lawsuit alleging abuse of Medicare's outlier program by a New Jersey hospital and joined another against a hospital in New York.
N.J. hospital to pay $3 million to settle whistle-blower case
Trinitas Regional Medical Center, Elizabeth, N.J., agreed to pay $3 million but denied allegations that the 493-bed hospital, formerly Trinitas Hospital, improperly increased Medicare claims from December 2002 through August 2003. The settlement is not an admission of liability by Trinitas, said John Martin, an attorney in Great Neck, N.Y., with Garfunkel, Wild and Travis who represents the hospital, echoing the settlement agreement.
Trinitas reached the settlement to avoid the cost, inconvenience, uncertainty and delay of litigation, he said. The Justice Department also joined a whistle-blower lawsuit alleging abuse of the outlier program by Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, Patchogue, N.Y., from February 2002 through August 2003. Brookhaven spokeswoman Susan Merritt said the hospital does not comment on legal matters.
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