In an e-mail exchange, an HCA spokesperson stated, "we are pleased to see new clarification of industry care standards, which help physicians make decisions regarding kyphoplasty patients, and we are confident as a result that this issue has been resolved."
HCA, which operates 162 hospitals in 22 states, is no stranger to fraud settlements. Between 2000 and 2003, HCA paid $1.7 billion to the federal government to settle an extensive false claims investigation that included Medicare and other federal health programs.
In addition to the 23 HCA hospitals, other multi-location facilities in the kyphoplasty settlement include:
The settlements bring to a close an investigation that has led to more than 100 hospitals paying $75 million to resolve allegations that they mischarged Medicare for kyphoplasty procedures.