Dallas hospitals to pay $1.4M, settle upcoding investigation

Amid a separate patient safety investigation and a CEO change up, Dallas's Parkland Memorial Hospital, along with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, yesterday agreed to a $1.4 million settlement, ending a four-year Medicare billing fraud investigation, reports Dallas News. Southwestern will pay the settlement because the physicians involved were Southwestern employees.

Although not admitting any wrongdoing or liability, both organizations were under investigation for upcoding at Parkland between 2004 and 2007, reports the Associated Press. The U.S. Justice Department said the institutions were allegedly committing Medicare fraud and failed to supervise resident surgeons, which they improperly billed for through claims. In addition, the government claimed Parkland and Southwestern failed to comply with informed consent requirements for patient care, according to the Dallas News article.

The billing investigation settlement follows a separate patient safety investigation at Parkland, which recently submitted a corrective action plan to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services under threat of losing Medicare status. Still recovering from the patient safety investigation, Parkland vowed to make changes following a variety of infection control lapses.

For more:
- read the Associated Press article
- read the Dallas News article

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