Sound Inpatient Physicians Inc. will pay $14.5 million to settle allegations that it overbilled Medicare and other federal health care programs, the Justice Department announced today. Sound Physicians is a Tacoma, Wash.-based provider of hospitalists and other physicians to hospitals and other medical facilities. It employs more than 700 hospitalists and post-acute physicians, who provide services at 70 hospitals and a growing network of post-acute facilities in 22 states.
“Physicians who participate in Medicare and other federal health care programs must document and bill for their services accurately and honestly,” said Stuart F. Delery, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division. “The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that Medicare and other federal funds are expended appropriately.”
Today’s settlement addresses allegations that, between 2004 and 2012, Sound Physicians knowingly submitted to federal health benefits programs inflated claims on behalf of its hospitalist employees for higher and more expensive levels of service than were documented by hospitalists in patient medical records. Hospitalists are physicians, typically trained in internal medicine, who provide care exclusively to hospital inpatients and have no office or outpatient practice.
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