Sutter Health has agreed to pay more than $13 million to settle allegations of improper billing practices, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of California.
Federal investigators alleged the Sacramento, California-based not-for-profit billed government health programs for thousands of lab tests it didn't perform, violating the federal False Claims Act. The tests in question were urine toxicology screenings conducted between Aug. 1, 2016, and June 30, 2017, for which Sutter received payment from the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare.
Sutter, which did not admit any liability, has already paid more than $6.5 million of the $13 million settlement. It will pay the remaining balance in the next month.
"When medical providers charge federal healthcare programs for services that other providers actually performed, the integrity of these programs is undermined. Working with our law enforcement partners, we will continue to uproot and investigate such schemes,” Steven Ryan, special agent in charge for the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, said in a news release.