A nonprofit Tucson, Ariz., health-care system has agreed to pay $35-million to settle federal allegations of Medicare fraud, reports The Arizona Republic.
Carondelet Health Network, which operates three hospitals in southern Arizona, will also pay nearly $6-million to a whistle-blower who filed the original civil complaint against the organization in 2011.
The investigation was subsequently taken up by the Justice Department, which alleged that from 2004 to 2011 Carondelet falsely charged state and federal health agencies millions of dollars for inpatient rehabilitation services that were not eligible for reimbursement. The medical network did not admit to any wrongdoing.
Carondelet had a budget of $493-million in 2012, the most recent year for which financial information was available. In a statement, organization officials noted that the network uncovered overbilling "through its own internal review procedures" in 2010 and repaid the government $24-million.