Fifty-five health care facilities in twenty-one states have agreed to pay a total of over $34 million to settle allegations of submitting false claims to Medicare for minimally invasive kyphoplasty procedures. Kyphoplasty is used to treat specific spinal fractures frequently caused by osteoporosis. The settling hospitals were accused of booking patients for costly inpatient procedures rather than standard, less expensive, outpatient procedures commonly used for kyphoplasties. “Whenever hospitals knowingly overcharge Medicare, critically needed resources are wasted and health costs are driven up,” said Daniel R. Levinson, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. More than 100 hospitals have contributed to a total of approximately $75 million in settlements for mischarging Medicare for kyphoplasty procedures.
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