Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center, in Patchogue, NY, will pay $2.92 million to settle whistleblower Medicare fraud allegations, the Justice Department said.
DOJ reported in a media release that the 306-bed, not-for-profit, community hospital on Long Island fraudulently inflated outlier charges to Medicare in 2002 and 2003 to get higher reimbursements for cases that were not extraordinarily costly and which didn't qualify for outlier payments.
The settlement resolves a 2005 whistleblower suit filed in federal court in New Jersey. DOJ intervened in November 2009. The whistleblower, identified by DOJ as Tony Kite, will receive $613,000, plus interest, from the settlement.
Brookhaven said it increased charges as permitted by law to cover rising costs for providing care and to maintain the quality of patient care.
"Brookhaven's decision to enter this settlement does not change our position that all of our actions were fully compliant with federal and state laws and regulations," Christopher Banks, Brookhaven's vice president of external relations, said in a media release.
"The hospital entered into this agreement only after much consideration to allow us to continue focusing our energy and resources on our mission of providing high quality care to patients," Banks said.