The St. Barnabas Health Care System agreed to pay nearly $3.9 million to settle claims it overcharged Medicare, largely by billing for inpatient services when people received only same-day treatment.
The health system consists of nine hospitals, including Community Medical Center in Toms River, Kimball Medical Center in Lakewood and Monmouth Medical Center in Long Branch. The suit was brought under the federal False Claims Act, which allows the government to seek triple damages and penalties for false or fraudulent claims submitted to the government.
Part of the settlement covers claims that St. Barnabas submitted claims containing pneumonia treatment codes that reflected a higher level of care — and therefore a higher level of reimbursement — than was actually provided.
The full story is available in the December 7, 2005 issue of the Asbury Park Press.