The Department of Justice announced that 14 hospitals in New York, Mississippi, North Carolina, Washington, Indiana, Missouri and Florida have agreed to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit regarding allegations that they overbilled Medicare for kyphoplasty procedures performed between 2000 and 2008. Kyphoplasty is a procedure that is used to treat some kinds of spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.
The Department of Justice said the largest portions of the $12 million settlement are being paid by four hospitals associated with Adventist Health System in Florida ($3.9 million), Plainview Hospital in New York ($2.3 million), North Mississippi Medical Center in Mississippi ($1.9 million), Mission Hospital in North Carolina ($1.5 million) and Wenatchee Valley Medical Center in Washington ($1.2 million). Six other hospitals will pay the remainder of the settlement amount.
The government’s investigation began in 2008 after a qui tam action was initiated by Chuck Bates and Craig Patrick, two former employees of Kyphon, a manufacturer of products used in kyphoplasty. The qui tam complaint named Kyphon (acquired by Medtronic Spine in 2007) and numerous hospitals. The whistleblowers alleged that Kyphon suggested that hospitals do kyphoplasties as inpatient procedures to bulk up their Medicare payments even though the procedures could have often been done as outpatient procedures.
According to the Justice Department, since the initial qui tam action was filed in 2008, it has settled investigations into more than 40 hospitals related to kyphoplasty overbilling for $39 million, in addition to a $75 million settlement with Medtronic Spine. The whistleblowers will get around $2.1 million from the settlements.
If you have any firsthand knowledge, information, or evidence related to any federal, state, county or city government fraud, you should speak with an experienced qui tam lawyer who can help you understand your legal rights and help you obtain the compensation you deserve.
If you have a claim, contact the Florida whistleblower attorneys at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.