Hospital Operator Community Health Systems Owes Millions to Fed

by Arkansas Business Staff  on Monday, Aug. 25, 2014 12:00 am  

August has been a tough month for Community Health Systems Inc. of Franklin, Tennessee.

A week ago, as you probably know, the publicly traded operator of 10 hospitals in Arkansas blamed Chinese hackers for a cyber attack that accessed “non-medical” data on 4.5 million patients of its affiliated physicians.

What you may not know is that CHS, which operates 206 hospitals in 29 states, agreed on Aug. 8 to pay $98.15 million to resolve “multiple lawsuits alleging that the company knowingly billed government health care programs for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient or observation services,” according to an announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice.

The settlement also resolved allegations of illegal self-referral by a physician affiliated with Laredo (Texas) Medical Center. That part of the settlement cost CHS $9 million.

The lawsuits were brought by a number of whistleblowers, none of them in Arkansas.

Community Health Systems’ Arkansas facilities are Sparks Regional Medical Center at Fort Smith, the Northwest Medical Center facilities in Bentonville and Springdale, Willow Creek Women’s Hospital at Johnson, Summit Medical Center at Van Buren, Siloam Springs Regional Hospital, Medical Center of South Arkansas at El Dorado, Forrest City Medical Center, Harris Hospital at Newport and Helena Regional Medical Center.

 

 

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