55 More Hospitals Settle in Kyphoplasty Case
More than 100 have settled charges involving unnecessary inpatient procedures.
Published: July 12, 2013
Fifty-five more hospitals have settled whistleblower lawsuits with the federal government over allegations that they bilked Medicare by routinely keeping patients overnight for kyphoplasty procedures that could have been done in outpatient settings.
More than 100 hospitals have now settled in the case, which had been ongoing since 2 former Kyphon employees initiated a False Claims complaint in 2005. In the lawsuit, the former employees described how the company's employees coached hospitals in scheduling and billing kyphoplasty as an inpatient procedure. Usually, kyphoplasty to treat a vertebral fracture is a 1- to 2-hour procedure done as day surgery.
The most recent settlements, which totaled more than $34 million, involved hospitals from 21 states and included 23 facilities owned by HCA. None of the 55 admitted wrongdoing.
In all, settlements have totaled about $150 million, including $75 million paid by Medtronic Spine, which acquired Kyphon in 2007.
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