News | December 26, 2006

University of Miami Settles Fraud Suit

The University of Miami, Coral Gables, FL, agreed to pay nearly $2.3 million to settle Medicare fraud allegations, the U.S. attorney in Miami announced. The settlement is part of a decade-old investigation into the payment of physicians at teaching hospitals. The PATH investigation looks at how teaching hospitals bill for the services of resident and intern physicians and the faculty physicians who supervise them. In the settlement, which resulted from a PATH audit conducted by HHS' inspector general, the government alleged that the University of Miami inappropriately billed Medicare for improperly documented claims, upcoded service claims and surgery services that should not have been separately billed between 1995 and 1999 at Miami's Jackson Memorial Hospital. The university did not admit wrongdoing. Jackson Memorial recently paid a $14 million Medicare fraud settlement unrelated to the PATH case. A spokeswoman from the University of Miami's Leonard Miller School of Medicine pointed out in a news release that the federal rules for billing Medicare were changed during the period in question. "The university is pleased that this settlement will avoid the cost and distractions of continued litigation and will allow its physicians to focus their efforts on the continued delivery of quality medical services to the community," spokeswoman Jeanne Antol Krull said in the release.