A Hartford, Conn., hospital system agreed to a half-million-dollar Medicare false-claims settlement this week.
Conn. system to settle false-claims charges
St. Francis Hospital and Medical Center will pay the federal government $516,527 to resolve allegations that it overbilled Medicare (PDF) for prostate cancer treatments over more than seven years, according to the U.S. attorney's office in Connecticut.
The settlement, which included no admission of wrongdoing, followed allegations that the hospital billed Medicare at higher-than allowed rate for a drug, Lupron, used to treat both prostate cancer and uterine fibroids. The federal government alleged that the hospital charged Medicare at the higher reimbursement level than the program allows for female injections, even when the drug was given to men.
“Accordingly, St. Francis Hospital received substantially higher reimbursement from Medicare than it should have received for its Lupron injection services,” a news release for the U.S. attorney's office said.
The government also alleged that officials at St. Francis discovered the improper coding on their own but never reported it or attempted to pay back the money to Medicare, as required by federal law.
The hospital did not respond to requests for comment.
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