CHARLOTTE, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The United States Department of Justice and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina announced that HEALTH MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATES, INC. (“HMA”), now known as Health Management Associates, LLC, and its parent, will pay over $260 million to resolve false hospital billing and kickback allegations. This settlement includes civil payments by HMA of more than $74 million plus interest to the federal government and participating Medicaid states to settle six whistleblower lawsuits filed under federal and state False Claims Acts (FCAs) related to HMA’s emergency room fraud.
One of these cases, filed by Drs. Thomas Mason and Steven Folstad, and their emergency medicine practice, Mid-Atlantic Emergency Medical Associates, PA (“MEMA”)(“collectively, “the MEMA Relators”), alleges a nationwide scheme by HMA’s corporate, division, and hospital executives to defraud federal and state healthcare programs by submitting false claims related to patients treated in HMA’s emergency rooms. MEMA alleged that HMA’s fraud caused two types of false claims to be submitted. First, HMA caused patients to be admitted from their emergency room without regard for medical necessity. In other words, patients were hospitalized when they did not need to be. Second, when HMA did bill for outpatient emergency room care, they padded the charges by manipulating the acuity points used to justify their billing.Read more here.