DOJ reaches $2.8 million settlement with Blessing Hospital

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Photo: Blessing Hospital

The Department of Justice has announced it has reached a $2.82 million settlement with Blessing Hospital regarding a voluntary disclosure made by the hospital.

Cardiac procedures were performed at Blessing that resulted in overpayments. Hospital officials say the procedures in question were performed by a physician who used to work at “a non-Blessing medical group in Quincy”. The physician no longer practices in Quincy.

Blessing conducted an independent audit after discovering a potential compliance issue. Once Blessing received the audit findings, it was determined an overpayment had been received for cardiac procedures and the hospital voluntarily contacted the Department of Justice to start the process to refund identified overpayments.

Tuesday’s settlement resolved allegations that Blessing Hospital received Medicare and Medicaid payments for components of cardiac catheterization performed between August 1, 2012 and August 30, 2018 by the physician, who hasn’t practiced in Quincy in three years.

“Blessing Hospital has made the difficult and fair decision to move forward,” said Douglas J. Quibby, assistant federal attorney for the central district of Illinois. “The United States Federal Attorney’s Office will continue to vigorously investigate health fraud and protect taxpayer dollars. The cooperation of healthcare providers such as Blessing Hospital will go a long way in supporting this mission “

“Doctors who take these unnecessary steps have abused patients and Medicare and Medicaid programs,” said Curt L. Muller, a special agent in the laboratory department of the Ministry of Health and Human Services. “By disclosing these facts, Blessing Hospital helped identify the damage to the program. Our agency praises health care providers for their federal health care system.”

“Our patients’ health and safety is and has always been our priority,” Maureen Kahn, president and CEO of Blessing Health System and Blessing Hospital said in a statement. “We’re proud we did the right thing when we became aware of the issue and we’re happy it has been resolved. Our focus is on the future as we continue to strengthen the important services and programs for our community to provide the highest quality patient care.”

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