Feds, NJ hospital settle Medicare fraud lawsuit

AP News
Posted: Nov 19, 2009 12:06 PM

A northern New Jersey hospital will pay more than $3 million to settle claims it defrauded Medicare.

The agreement announced Wednesday by the U.S. Justice Department ends a whistleblower lawsuit filed in 2005 against Trinitas Regional Medical Center. It claimed the Elizabeth hospital fraudulently inflated charges to Medicare patients to obtain enhanced reimbursement.

The government said the suit was settled for just over $3 million, plus interest. The agreement calls for the whistleblower litigant, Tony Kite, to receive roughly $679,000 of the total amount.

In a statement released through its attorney, John Martin, Trinitas says it "emphatically denies" the allegations and says it chose to settle the matter to avoid potentially lengthy and expensive litigation.