Dartmouth-Hitchcock to pay $500K to settle overbilling claims

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC) in Lebanon, N.H., has agreed to pay the government upwards of $500,000 to resolve charges that certain physicians in the neurology department overbilled Medicare and Medicaid, Valley News reported Friday. This is the second time in the past 18 months that Dartmouth-Hitchcock has faced claims of overbilling.

These discrepancies, which DHMC representatives insist were mere mistakes made due by complicated billing procedures, could have led to criminal charges had the hospital not agreed to settle. The Vermont U.S. Attorney's Office suggested the overbilling could have been intentional, or even criminal, saying in a statement, "The United States contends that the regulations and guidelines related to billing and coding are direct and clear and that the failure to abide by these requirements constituted, at a minimum, reckless disregard under the False Claims Act." Article