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HCA pays $2 million in Medicare fraud settlement

HCA has reached a settlement in yet another Medicare fraud billing case brought by whistleblowers.

The Justice Department, along with the state of Florida, announced last week that HCA Holdings Inc. will pay $2 million to resolve allegations the for-profit hospital company submitted claims for certain laboratory tests when those tests had not been ordered or were not medically necessary.

The settlement resulted from a whistleblower’s qui tam lawsuit, and resolved claims involving four Florida hospitals. The whistleblower will receive 20% of the recovery.

This is not the first successful False Claims Act case against HCA. In May, HCA was part of a $7.5 million settlement against four of the company’s hospitals as well as five others and an ambulance company for billing Medicare for unnecessary ambulance services. HCA paid $2.7 million of the total settlement.

In December 2002, HCA paid $881 million to settle Medicare fraud allegations, including allegations that HCA inflated expenses for reimbursement in its costs reports.

Phillips and Cohen LLP represented the whistleblowers that made the cost-report allegations.

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