Universal Health Services will pay $122 million in a settlement of a series of whistleblower lawsuits in which the company was accused of admitting patients who didn’t need to be hospitalized, keeping patients longer than necessary, and using drugs to sedate and restrain patients, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
From 2006 to 2018, UHS facilities allegedly falsely billed Medicare and other government programs for services that were medically unnecessary and inappropriate. Meanwhile, UHS’s Turning Point Care Center in Moultrie, Georgia, was accused of luring patients from out of state by offering to pay for or discount travel costs, then inducing patients to stay for outpatient care by providing or discounting the cost of lodging.
In total, about 30 UHS psychiatric facilities were involved in the settlements. The federal government will receive $88 million from the settlement, with $28.8 million going to states that jointly fund Medicaid programs. The whistleblowers who filed the original False Claims Act suits will split $15.9 million of the federal government’s share of the settlement.