Universal Health Services reaches $127M settlement with DOJ

George Washington University Hospital
Universal Health Services has reached a $127 million settlement with the Department of Justice more than three years after it disclosed it was under investigation, the health giant announced Thursday. (George Washington University Hospital)

Universal Health Services (UHS) has reached a $127 million settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) more than three years after it disclosed it was under investigation for billing practices at its behavioral health facilities. 

The King of Prussia, Pennsylvania-based health giant announced the settlement in a release containing second-quarter earnings Thursday. In it, officials said they had been told investigations being conducted by the DOJ's Fraud Section in connection with the matter have been closed.

The health system had been steadily putting aside money in reserves for the expected settlement and said that, as of June 30, it had stowed $134 million away. 

It's the conclusion of a yearslong saga prompted by allegations that UHS promoted holding patients longer than necessary to maximize profits that spawned an investigation by multiple federal agencies.

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For the second quarter, UHS reported its net income reached $238.3 million on revenues of $2.9 billion. That's up 25% from $226.1 million on revenues of $2.7 billion during the same quarter of 2018.

The health system reported adjusted admissions at its acute care hospitals increased 5% and adjusted patient days increased 5.2% during the second quarter compared to the same period in 2018. Net revenue per adjusted admission increased 3.5% at these hospitals for the quarter.

Net revenues at acute care services on a same facility basis increased 9% during the second quarter of 2019 as compared to the second quarter of 2018.

For the six months ending June 30, the health system reported net cash from operations increased to $624 million compared to $607 million in the first half of 2018.