With health care costs skyrocketing, a California based Hospital chain overcharged Medicaid to generate capital by cheating a Federal program.
Dignity Health, a good-sized hospital chain in San Francisco, has been accused of overcharging their Medicare patients or rather the insurance companies who cover them. The Hospital has agreed to pay a settlement of $37 million to put an end to these allegations. In earnest since these allegations are made by a whistleblower Kathleen Hawkins, a former employee, back in 2009 so they are taken up seriously. Hawkins stands to receive more than $6 million for her testimony in the case. She filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court as a former employee of Dignity. She also alleged that the hospital chain had repeatedly submitted false or inflated Medicare claims between 2006 and 2010.
Hawkins’s lawsuit also claims that amongst all the network hospitals operating under Dignity Health, 13 admitted patients for procedures which could have been performed at less expensive outpatient facilities.
“Hospitals that attempt to boost profits by admitting patients for expensive and unnecessary inpatient hospital stays will be held accountable,” reports Health and Human Services investigator, Ivan Negroni. “Both patients and taxpayers deserve to have medical decisions made solely on what is best for the patient based on medical necessity.”
The Hospital on the other hand has decided to settle the lawsuit by paying litigation costs, though they have not admitted to misconduct. They will have to hire an independent auditor to review their files.