The Department of Justice announced that Community Health Systems (CHS) agreed to pay $98.15 million to settle allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by billing Medicare, Medicaid, and TRICARE for medically unnecessary inpatient admissions and by one of the company’s hospitals violating the Stark Law.
Of the $98.15 million, CHS paid $89.15 million to settle allegations that it engaged in a company-wide scheme to increase admissions for beneficiaries of Government health programs. According to the United States, these admissions were not medically necessary. CHS also paid $9 million to settle allegations that one of its hospitals in Texas violated the False Claims Act through violations of the Stark Law. As a result of the settlement, CHS must enter into a Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Government, which means that the company will have to make substantial compliance efforts over a five-year period.
The settlement resolves allegations brought by nine whistleblowers pursuant to the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act.
The DOJ press release can be found at: http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2014/August/14-civ-822.html.