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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Kansas

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Hospital Settles Federal AllegationsOf Medicare False Claims

WICHITA, KAN.- Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Inc., (formerly known as Promise Regional Medical Center – Hutchinson, Inc.) has agreed to pay $853,651 to the United States to settle allegations that the hospital submitted false claims to the Medicare program, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom announced today. This payment is in addition to amounts the hospital previously refunded to the Medicare program for the claimed services. The payments to the United States total over $1.7 million. 

The hospital also entered into a corporate integrity agreement with the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

The settlement resolves allegations by the United States concerning the hospital’s claims to Medicare for hyperbaric oxygen wound therapy services.  The procedure involves placing a patient’s entire body in a chamber of oxygen under increased atmospheric pressure. The United States contended that from March 23, 2007, through January 31, 2011, the hospital submitted claims to Medicare for hyperbaric oxygen wound therapy services that were not medically necessary or that lacked adequate documentation of medical necessity. The government also alleged that the claims resulted from kickback arrangements between the hospital, at least one of its physicians, and the company that supplied the chambers. 

The hospital denied the allegations and, according to the terms of the agreement, the hospital does not admit any wrongdoing.

“Today’s settlement demonstrates our continuing commitment to protect the integrity of the Medicare program,” Grissom said. “ It is the latest example of how the Office of Inspector General for HHS and this office work hard together to assure appropriate care to beneficiaries and recover improperly paid funds.”

Grissom commended the Department of Health and Human Services, Inspector General, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jon Fleenor for their work on the case.