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Archive for Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Deal reached with Stormont-Vail over billing issue

January 24, 2012

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The Kansas Attorney General’s Office reached a $90,000 settlement agreement with Stormont-Vail Healthcare in Topeka, resulting from improper Medicaid billing.

The settlement, signed Dec. 19 but not announced publicly, includes about $40,000 in restitution, as well as a $50,000 “corrective analysis charge.”

According to the settlement agreement obtained by the Journal-World through an open records request, Stormont-Vail’s Cotton O’Neil Clinic had improperly charged Medicaid for oncology services, dating back to 2004.

Nancy Burkhardt, spokeswoman for Stormont-Vail, said hospital officials first became aware in August 2007 “that there was a concern about how we were interpreting a rule related to billing for chemotherapy services received by Medicaid patients.”

“The billing department went through a process of appeals and a hearing, and in the end, our position was not sustained,” Burkhardt said.

Burkhardt said the issue elevated to the Attorney General’s Office because “there continued to be confusion on our billing department’s part regarding how to bill for that service.”

Stormont-Vail was first contacted by the Attorney General’s Office in August 2011, and the settlement was reached in December, Burkhardt said.

Jeff Wagaman, spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office, said such settlements “are not uncommon and frequently they are announced.”

However, Wagaman declined to answer questions about how his office became aware of the issue, and he declined to answer further questions about the investigation.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment monitors Medicaid billing, while the Attorney General’s Office investigates such cases through their Medicaid Fraud and Abuse Division.

Burkhardt said this was the first time Stormont-Vail had ever reached a settlement agreement with the Attorney General’s Office.

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