Three HealthEast hospitals in the St. Paul, Minnesota, area have agreed to pay the federal government a total of $2.28 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit alleging Medicare fraud involving a certain type of spinal surgery known as kyphoplasty, the Dept. of Justice announced on May 21. The hospitals increased their payments for the procedure by performing them as inpatient surgery when they could have been safely performed on an outpatient basis.
The relators, Craig Patrick and Chuck Bates, were represented by Phillips & Cohen LLP. Attorney Tim McCormack praised the work of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Buffalo, which is leading the government’s fraud investigation into kyphoplasty.