AZ hospital, MDs pay $6.7M to settle Medicare charges

An Arizona hospital and two affiliated medical groups have agreed to pay the U.S. Department of Justice $6.7 million to settle charges that they billed Medicare improperly. The DoJ had contended that the facility, Phoenix's Arizona Heart Hospital, inappropriately billed Medicare for procedures related to experimental grafts for aneurysms, as the grafts were considered experimental or procedures involved didn't follow approved protocols.

The hospital, which is majority-owned by MedCath Corp., is also co-owned by physician groups AHI Cardiovascular Surgeons and Arizona Heart Institute. The two groups paid $900,000 of the total settlement amount. MedCath had previously announced that it would  pay $5.8 million to settle clinical trial issues at one of its hospitals, though it didn't name the facility at that time.

To learn more about the settlement:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece
- read this Charlotte Business Journal article

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