St. Agnes Healthcare will pay $122,928 to resolve claims that it overbilled Medicare for services performed by cardiologists of a specialty practice acquired by the health system, according to a settlement announced by the office of the U.S. Attorney for Maryland.
According to the allegations, Baltimore-based St. Agnes billed Medicare for the evaluation and management of patients by 12 doctors at the practice formerly known as MidAtlantic Cardiovascular Associates, which was acquired by St. Agnes in 2011. The doctors became St. Agnes employees and continued to provide services to their patients through Maryland Cardiovascular Specialists, a practice affiliated with the health system.
From June 3, 2011, through June 3, 2014, the cardiologists improperly claimed reimbursement for new patients instead of existing patients under Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors, according to the settlement agreement.
The civil settlement resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act by Jonathan Safren, a former St. Agnes cardiologist, who will receive a portion of the government's recovery totaling $20,000.
The U.S. attorney's office said the claims were allegations only and there was no determination of liability.
St. Agnes, affiliated with the Catholic nonprofit Ascension, did not respond to a request for comment.