08/14/2020 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 08/14/2020 17:02
August 14, 2020
(Anchorage, AK) Alaska Attorney General Kevin Clarkson, and the Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) announced today that Alaska has received $608,489.78 as part of a settlement regarding allegations of fraud against Universal Health Services, Inc. ('UHS, Inc.'), a for-profit holding company, which directly or indirectly owns the assets or stock of inpatient and residential psychiatric and behavioral health facilities, and UHS of Delaware, Inc., a subsidiary of UHS, Inc., which provides management services to UHS, Inc. and its subsidiaries (collectively, 'UHS').
UHS is based in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, and is one of the nation's largest providers of hospital and healthcare services. The government alleges that UHS's conduct violated the Federal False Claims Act and Alaska's Medical Assistance False Claim Reporting Act, resulting in the submission of false claims to the Alaska Medicaid program. Alaska joined forty-seven other states, one territory, the District of Columbia, and the federal government in the $117 million settlement.
The settlement resolves allegations that during the period from January 1, 2007, through December 31, 2018, UHS and certain UHS entities submitted or caused to be submitted false claims for services provided to Medicaid beneficiaries. These services included (i) admission of beneficiaries who were not eligible for inpatient or residential treatment, (ii) failure to properly discharge beneficiaries when they no longer needed inpatient or residential treatment, (iii) improper and excessive lengths of stay, (iv) failure to provide adequate staffing, training, and/or supervision of staff, (v) billing for services not rendered, (vi) improper use of physical and chemical restraints and seclusion; and (vii) failure to provide inpatient acute or residential care in accordance with federal and state regulations, including, but not limited to, failure to develop and/or update individualized assessments and treatment plans, failure to provide adequate discharge planning, and failure to provide required individual and group therapy.
This settlement results from eighteen whistleblower lawsuits originally filed in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Northern District of Georgia, Middle District of Georgia, Eastern District of Virginia, Western District of Virginia, Western District of Michigan, and Eastern District of Michigan. Fourteen of the eighteen whistleblower suits named at least one plaintiff state and all but three of the cases were transferred to the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.
A National Association of Medicaid Fraud Control Units (NAMFCU) Team participated in the investigation and settlement negotiations on behalf of the states. The team included representatives from the Offices of the Attorneys General for the states of California, Florida, Indiana, Massachusetts, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia.
'The State, through the Alaska Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, participated in this investigation and settlement as part of the State's emphasis on combating health care fraud, and protecting all Alaskans,' says Department of Law Chief of Staff, Ed Sniffen. The Alaska MFCU is part of the Alaska Department of Law and located in Anchorage. It is responsible for investigating and prosecuting Medicaid fraud, abuse, neglect, or financial exploitations of patients in any facility that accepts Medicaid funds. Citizens with information about suspected medical assistance fraud, or patient abuse or neglect are encouraged to contact the Alaska MFCU at its website, or by phone at (907) 269-6279.
CONTACT: MFCU Director James Fayette at (907) 269-6263 or [email protected].
# # #
Department Media Contact:Assistant Attorney General Maria Bahr at (907) 269-5285 or [email protected].