Thirty-two hospitals settle Medicare false claims allegations over spinal treatments

Thirty-two hospitals in 15 states will pay nearly $30 million to the federal government to settle accusations of false claims to Medicare over kyphoplasty procedures, according to the Justice Department. The hospitals billed the program for more lucrative inpatient services rather than for outpatient services, according to the DOJ. "Charging the government for higher cost inpatient services that patients do not need wastes the country's vital healthcare dollars," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department's Civil Division. "The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that Medicare funds are expended appropriately, based on the medical needs of patients rather than the desire to maximize hospital profits." Settling providers include the Cleveland Clinic and five hospitals within the Tenet Health Care system in Dallas. Announcement