Whistleblower accuses Northwestern of double billing

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As the government cracks down on hospital billing practices, Northwestern Memorial Hospital and Northwestern University face allegations of double billing patient care, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

The whistleblower lawsuit claims the organizations billed both Medicare and the National Institutes of Health for the same patients in NIH-funded clinic research trials.

By the time the hospital submitted claims to the federal government, it had already received payment for that patient care from public or private insurance, according to the whistleblower complaint filed in 2010.

The complaint also accuses the hospital and university of retaliating against those who spoke up about the alleged double payments and False Claims violations.

The hospital said its attorneys only just received the suit, while Northwestern University said its attorneys haven't been formally served with the suit, according to the article.

"It appears to center on the issue of Medicare billing, which Northwestern University is not involved in. The university does not seem to be a proper party to the lawsuit and should be dismissed from the lawsuit," university spokesman Alan Cubbage told the Sun-Times.

The hearing has been continued to Dec. 12.

The same whistleblower in 2004 accused her former physician boss of sexual assault, although the suit was later dismissed, the article noted.

For more:
- here's the Chicago Sun-Times article
- read the complaint

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