Hospital Agrees To $98 Million Settlement

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Community Health Systems Inc., the parent for Heartland Regional Medical Center in Marion, has agreed to pay $98 million to settle claims of improper billing.

The Justice Department alleges the company admitted patients to the hospital when it wasn’t medically necessary and then billed Medicare, Medicaid and the military’s Tricare program for those inpatient services. The government says Community Health should have billed for less costly outpatient or observation cases.

A former employee at Heartland Regional filed claims against Community Health. Four of the 119 hospitals implicated in the settlement reside in southern Illinois.

The amount the company is paying includes $892,500 to Illinois, Indiana, North Carolina, Tennessee and Texas for their portions of Medicaid claims.

Community Health says there is no finding of improper conduct under the settlement.

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