Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, Vt., has agreed to pay $2.2 million to resolve whistle-blower allegations that it overbilled federal healthcare programs for anesthesia and radiology services between 2001 and 2007.
Dartmouth-Hitchcock to pay $2.2 million in False Claims settlements
The medical center did not admit liability in the settlement with the U.S. attorney's office in Vermont, and hospital spokesman Dave Evancich said the organization will not be subject to a corporate integrity agreement. “We have in place what a corporate integrity agreement is designed to get you to. We were credited with rapid improvement since this first came to light in 2007,” Evancich said.
Evancich said an internal investigation found that the hospital could not disprove whistle-blower allegations that it allowed residents and fellows in the critical-care department to administer services without being supervised by a physician as required by Medicare and Medicaid rules.
The 369-bed academic medical center agreed to pay more than $2.1 million to the federal government, $80,000 to the state of Vermont and $61,000 to New Hampshire. Former Dartmouth physician Dr. Thomas Prendergast, who filed the False Claims Act lawsuit that started the investigation in 2007, will receive $334,000 as part of the settlement, Evancich said.
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