Community Health Systems settles for $75 million in fraud case; CMS extends temporary moratoria on ambulance and home health enrollment;

News From Around the Web

> Community Health Systems Inc., which manages 200 hospitals in 29 states, has agreed to pay $75 million to settle claims that it made illegal donations to county governments in New Mexico in order to secure federal funding, according to Reuters. The lawsuit was initiated by whistleblower Robert Baker, a former revenue manager for the Community Health unit implicated in the allegations. He claimed three hospitals made donations in order to get extra Medicaid funding for rural hospitals. Article

> The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced it will extend its temporary moratoria on enrollment of ambulance suppliers and home health agencies in Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Texas, Pennsylvania and New Jersey to prevent waste, fraud and abuse. A data analysis determined that a high risk of fraud and abuse remains in these geographic locations. The moratoria originally became effective on July 31, 2013 and has been extended in six-month increments ever since. Federal Register

> A former Kansas City chiropractor was sentenced to 15 months in prison and ordered to pay nearly $900,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to submitting false Medicare claims for nerve block injections and other experimental procedures that weren't supported by research. Between February 2009 and December 2011, he billed Medicare more than $3 million for these procedures. Article

Health Finance News

> Following the inaugural release of payment data last year, CMS announced that it will publicly release physician payment data on an annual basis. Although AMA has called for CMS to improve its publication process, the agency has not stated whether it will make any adjustments to this year's release. Article

Health Payer News

> The shift toward fraud prevention has spawned the growth of public-private partnerships, uniting federal and state government agencies with private insurers and professional organizations. But the success of these partnerships relies heavily on the willingness for both parties to share information. Article

And finally ... Cuteness overload. Video

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