Medicare paid a Pennsylanvia hospital $6.15 million in the 2003 to treat some of the Erie hospital’s oldest, sickest patients. Now the hospital will pay $1.9M to settle a whistle-blower lawsuit that claimed the hospital submitted Medicare claims that exceeded its actual costs.
Seven hospitals have reached settlements in connection with the lawsuit, filed in 2005 by an independent hospital consultant from New Jersey. Saint Vincent is the only hospital in this region named in the suit.
In late 2002, Saint Vincent raised the average charge for many of its most common treatments and procedures between 40 percent and 120 percent, according to information provided by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.
The consultant learned what the Erie hospital was doing while working with other hospitals named in the lawsuit. Saint Vincent received $6.15 million in outlier payments from Medicare in fiscal 2003, more than four times the $1.42 million it collected in fiscal 2002.
Kite and his attorneys will receive 27.5 percent of the settlement. The federal government will get the rest.
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