WASHINGTON—Baylor University Medical Center, Baylor Health Care System, and HealthTexas Provider Network have agreed to pay more than $900,000 for false Medicare claims, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
The health care system will pay the United States $907,355 to settle allegations that Baylor submitted false claims to Medicare, the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Uniformed Services (TRICARE) and the Federal Employees Health Benefit Program (FEHBP) for various radiation oncology services, including intensity modulated radiation therapy.
Intensity modulated radiation therapy is a sophisticated radiation treatment indicated for specific types of cancer where extreme precision is required to spare patients’ surrounding organs or healthy tissue.
The government alleges that Baylor University submitted improper claims to Medicare from 2006 through May 2010 in which Baylor double billed Medicare for several procedures affiliated with radiation treatment plans; billed for certain high reimbursement radiation oncology services when a different, less expensive service should have been billed; billed for procedures without supporting documentation in the medical record; and improperly billed for radiation treatment delivery without corroboration of physician supervision.
“Physicians who participate in Medicare must bill for their services accurately and honestly,” said Stuart F. Delery, Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that federal health care funds are spent appropriately.”
Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Delery also noted that the settlement with Baylor was the result of a coordinated effort among the Justice Department’s Civil Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General, FBI, and Defense Criminal Investigative Services.
U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas Sarah R. Saldaña praised these investigative efforts and said, “This civil recovery is a testament to the efforts of the Department of Justice to hold all parties, regardless of position, accountable for the submission of improper claims to federal health care programs.”
This resolution is part of the government’s emphasis on combating health care fraud and another step for the Health Care Fraud Prevention and Enforcement Action Team (HEAT) initiative, which was announced by Attorney General Eric Holder and Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the Department of
Health and Human Services in May 2009. The partnership between the two departments has focused efforts to reduce and prevent Medicare and Medicaid financial fraud through enhanced cooperation. One of the most powerful tools in that effort is the False Claims Act, which the Justice Department has used to recover $10.1 billion since January 2009 in cases involving fraud against federal health care programs. The Justice Department’s total recoveries in False Claims Act cases since January 2009 are over $13.8 billion.
The claims settled by this agreement are allegations only, and there has been no determination of liability.