Corporate Compliance

CA hospital to pay $2.2M for inflating charges to Medicare

Compliance Monitor, September 22, 2010

A California hospital will pay the United States $2.2 million, plus interest, for allegedly defrauding Medicare, according to a Department of Justice (DOJ) press release.

El Centro Regional Medical Center, a 165-bed acute care hospital, allegedly inflated patient charges in order to obtain larger reimbursements from Medicare. El Centro submitted claims for short inpatient admissions when the services were in fact outpatient or emergency room visits, according to the DOJ.

Pietro Ingrande, a former employee of El Centro, filed this case under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. Ingrande will receive $375,000 of the recovery.

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