Following allegations that it has always overbilled patients and even caused the government to pay more for medical aids, the Dignity Healthcare system, formerly known as Catholic Healthcare West, has agreed to pay $37 million settlement as compensation instead of going to court. The Dignity Healthcare is one of the largest hospital networks in the US with 39 hospitals across California, Nevada, and Arizona.
Kathleen Hawkins, a former employee with the health organization blew the whistle and filed an ordinance at a district court in Northern California. This prompted government authorities to starting probing the accounts of Dignity Healthcare, and true to facts, the auditors found that the allegations of overbilling patients have been consistent across hospital networks in the three states.

Most medical patients were labeled as outpatients and billed as such when they were actually in-patients. Some class of patients that underwent cardiovascular surgeries that required stents and pacemakers were billed as inpatients while they were actually outpatients. The auditors also found out that Medicare had been overpaying to the tune of about $5 billion for brief hospital stays, and that government had overpaid about $1.9 billion for totally unnecessary tests and procedures.

Dignity Healthcare had earlier denied its guilt in these accusations, but has now admitted that it actually carried diagnoses in medical cases that could only have been observed, while also admitting patients for in-stays where they could only have been treated during visits. The healthcare organization would now be paying $37 million in an out-of-court settlement to aggrieved patients, and Kathleen Hawkins will be receiving $6.25 million from the settlement.

11 Responses

  1. squidwar

    From their Website: We chose the name Dignity Health because the value of dignity is woven into the fabric of our culture. Our mission, vision and values were all formed out of the recognition of the inherent dignity of each person. It also represents our commitment to delivering excellent medical care to all, to advocating on behalf of the poor, and to partnering with others to improve the quality of life.
    If only hypocrisy was a crime…

  2. Prince of Peace

    STEAL 6.9 BILLION, PAY BACK ONLY 36 million. Let us all behave this way in December….

  3. Fantasy Maker

    This has been happening for years, most people just pay it because they do not know any better.

    • guest3

      The Everett Clinic (Snohomish, Washington State) is taking a step toward more transparency in health care by posting prices of common procedures. The first prices it will list involve such imaging services as X-rays and MRIs.

  4. Alpha Omega

    Steal 6.9 Billion, pay 37 million.. sounds like a good sustainable business operation to me. Noone goes to jail, the whistleblower gets a cool 6 mill from the 37 million even though she was the one who probably was billing the government.

    GJ to healthcare.. glad we have thieves, crooks, lawyers and judges all doing their part in making the US a safe and honest place.

    US #1 most corrupt country in the world.

    • Prince of Peace

      STEAL 6.9 BILLION PAY 37 million… Lets all do that..

      • guest3

        Healthcare is well over 2.5 trillion USD dollar business. Prices are double compared to virtually every other country in the world. That mean over one trillion is stolen from Americans every year. That is what I call grand theft. We need anti-trust laws to address: consumer price rigging, unfair rebate schemes and tax evasion and bogus invoices. First the laws that make these menaces a federal crime. Then let FBI put the accountants and administrators into federal prison.

  5. Selcuk Olzker

    Ridiculous. People who steal should go to jail. Sickening to see more fines which just get passed on to the consumer, while the same administrators and culture promulgating this fraud are rampant. Take your 37M and shove it…the American public is sick of white collar corruption and it is time to prosecute to the full letter of the law. So long as the medical industry continues to be owned as a businesses and run or strongly influenced by for-profit insurance companies, these problems just will get worse and more intractable.

    • Vote

      That is not how it works. In reality, as in Florida, they get elected to high government offices and perpetuate corruption under the auspices of supporting big business. Apparently, they have a lot of supporters or they would not win elections.

  6. guest3

    Lord knows I have been praying for this moment to happen. Many years now.


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