From the Charlotte Observer, exerpted below:
“Records show billing concerns investigated”
U.S. Attorney’s Office looking into practices in ER, according to letter
The U.S. Attorney’s Office is investigating concerns regarding alleged questionable billing practices at Gaston Memorial Hospital’s emergency room after an anonymous complaint was made in November, according to memos and letters obtained by the Observer.
The company that runs the emergency room, Emergency & Acute Care Services, was served with a subpoena, according to a May 2005 letter that company officials sent to hospital staffers.
The letter states that government officials are seeking a range of records from Jan. 1, 2003, to March 31, 2005, related to billing or coding issues. ER physicians at Gaston Memorial assign a certain code to patients depending on their medical status, with Code 5 being the most serious.
Attorneys for EACS, which hires doctors to work at the hospital’s emergency room, didn’t return calls for comment.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office neither confirmed nor denied the investigation.
Gaston Memorial Hospital officials issued a brief written statement Thursday when contacted by the Observer.
The statement said that after a hospital investigation, the hospital made a voluntary disclosure to the government regarding reimbursement services in the emergency department.
“This matter will not have an impact on the Hospital’s commitment and ability to provide high quality care for our patients,” wrote hospital CEO Wayne Shovelin. “The Hospital is cooperating fully with the government in any investigation, and in order not to hamper any investigation declines further comment.”
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