Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Health Care: Who Pays the Cost?

A press release of the U.S. Attorneys Office in the Northern District of Georgia, here, demonstrates that health care investigations are still being pursued by the government.  Coming from a "whistleblower" lawsuit under the False Claims Act, Peidmont Hospital of Atlanta "agreed to pay over $3 million to resolve allegations." The press release reports that the hospital allegedly "submitt[ed] claims to federal health care programs for services that were not eligible for reimbursement, and [ ] fail[ed] to properly execute contractual agreements with the physicians performing professional services, as is required by federal law."

What will be the source of the funds for the payment?  Will the consumer pay an added price to accommodate a settlement?  But even if that should happen, will the market rectify this by forcing a business to keep its costs at a competitive level? When it comes to health care, one has to appreciate that individuals do come forward to expose potential wrongdoing.

(esp) (with a hat tip to FraudUpdate here)


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