St. Barnabas Health System, the largest healthcare network in New Jersey, has agreed to pay a $265 million settlement to resolve fraud charges brought by federal prosecutors. The health network--which employs 5,000 doctors, operates 10 hospitals and runs a network of clinics and nursing homes--is the state's largest Medicare biller. A federal audit found that St. Barnabas systematically overcharged the government by as much as $500 million over a ten year period between 1995 and 2003.
This is only the latest high-profile fraud scandal to strike a large New Jersey hospital. Over the last year and a half, officials at the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) have fended off charges of financial impropriety. In 2005, the hospital paid a large fine for double billing Medicaid. Nationwide, federal officials are aggressively pursuing fraud cases against hospitals.
- see this article from the Newark Star Ledger