Friday, March 21, 2014

Duke Health to pay $1M penalty for overcharging government

DURHAM, N.C. — Duke University Health System has agreed to pay $1 million to settle allegations that it overcharged government insurance programs, state and federal authorities said Friday.

Leslie Johnson, a former employee of a Duke Health-owned firm that handles billing and collection services for the hospital system, filed a whistleblower lawsuit in December 2012 under the False Claims Act, which attracted the attention of the U.S. Attorney's Office and the North Carolina Attorney General's Office.

"Health care fraud like this wastes tax dollars, harms patients who need care and drives up medical costs for all of us,” Attorney General Roy Cooper said in a statement. “We’re working closely with federal officials to root out this kind of fraud in North Carolina and make wrongdoers pay."