FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 15, 2003
TDD (202) 514-1888
JOHNS HOPKINS HOSPITAL AND METHODIST HOSPITALS OF MEMPHIS
ACCUSED OF MISCHARGING MEDICARE
WASHINGTON, DC – The United States has intervened in lawsuits alleging that Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland and Methodist Hospitals of Memphis mischarged the Medicare program, the Justice Department announced today. The suits allege that between 1986 and 1995, these hospitals improperly charged Medicare for millions of dollars worth of procedures involving experimental cardiac devices that had not been determined to be safe and effective, and were not properly reimbursable.
The lawsuits were originally filed by a whistleblower under the False Claims Act, which permits private citizens to file suit on behalf of the government and share in any recovery. The government intervened in both cases in August 2002 and filed its own complaints in December 2002, but the cases remained under seal until recently.
The government has previously announced its intervention in several dozen related lawsuits. Also, the U.S. has previously reached settlements with 31 hospitals for a total of roughly $42 million and is in the process of finalizing settlements with several other hospitals.
The cases will be litigated jointly by the Civil Division of the Department of Justice and the United States Attorney's Offices in the District of Maryland and the Western District of Tennessee.