In an official statement from the US Department of Justice, the hospitals are accused of keeping patients overnight after having kyphoplasty, which is typically considered an outpatient procedure, in order to further bill Medicare providers at an advanced rate.
READ MORE QUI TAM WHISTLEBLOWER LEGAL NEWS
Attorneys for the government believe that the two unnamed hospital employees who brought the fraud to light were essential to ending the shady practice.
"If it hadn't been for our two whistleblower clients, the government would have been unlikely to have found out what these hospitals were doing," said Matthew Smith, a lawyer who worked on the case. "Once we filed a qui tam lawsuit and our clients explained to the US attorney's office in Buffalo how Medicare was being cheated, the government quickly investigated the allegations and has aggressively taken steps to recover funds the Medicare program needs to cover legitimate healthcare costs."