Medicaid Billing Upcharges Prompts Oklahoma Nurse to Blow the Whistle on Hospital. Exposing Misconduct.

Medicaid Billing Upcharges Prompts Oklahoma Nurse to Blow the Whistle on Hospital

June 14, 2019

Oklahoma Heart Hospital (OHH) has agreed to pay $2.8 Million to settle U.S. and Oklahoma government claims that the hospital committed Medicaid Fraud. Jennifferr Baird, a retired registered nurse, filed the complaint, which reported that her former employer, OHH was consistently billing  Oklahoma’s Medicaid insurance program inpatient rates for outpatient procedures – regardless of whether a doctor ordered inpatient care or not.

Ms. Baird’s 2015 complaint, filed under the False Claims Act (FCA) and a similar Oklahoma law because Oklahoma administers its Medicaid program with federal funds. The practice of billing inpatient rates for outpatient service is more commonly known as “upcoding” and is a form of fraud. Specifically, in question was the hospital’s tendency to bill stent procedures at higher inpatient rates, which, according to Ms. Baird, are typically performed on an outpatient basis. According to the prosecutors who investigated the claim, the fraud lasted at least seven years.

Read more here.
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