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3 Indiana hospitals settle Medicare disputes

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Three Indiana hospitals have agreed to pay the federal government a total of about $6.1 million to settle allegations that they overcharged Medicare for procedures.

The U.S. Department of Justice says the payments will resolve a lawsuit claiming the hospitals deliberately overcharged Medicare for a routine back surgery by keeping patients overnight and classifying the surgery as inpatient.

St. Francis Hospital of Indianapolis will pay $3.2 million; Deaconess Hospitals in Evansville is paying $2.1 million, and St. John’s Health System of Anderson about $825,000.

Deaconess officials said the hospital agreed to repayments when medical records did not contain sufficient documentation to support inpatient treatment. St. Francis and St. John’s officials said they were improving their record keeping procedures.

© 2009 Associated Press. Displayed by permission. All rights reserved.

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