News Briefs

False claims cases settled

The University of California San Diego (USCD) Medical Center and the University of Washington (UW) Medical Center in Seattle will pay the government $8.3 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to the federal Medicare and Tricare programs, the Department of Justice has announced.

Both facilities submitted claims for surgical procedures using "investigational" medical devices that had not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the time the procedures were performed, reports AHA News Now, an on-line news service of the Chicago-based American Hospital Association. USCD will pay $4.7 million to settle the allegations, and UW will pay $3.6 million. The settlement stems from a False Claims Act lawsuit filed by a former medical device salesman.

New Web site is available for hospital information

QuadraMed Corp. of Richmond, CA, has paired with Health Forum, LLC, a subsidiary of the American Hospital Association (AHA) in Chicago, to provide a more comprehensive Web site for hospital information. This partnership gives Quadra Med’s American Hospital Directory Web site ( select proprietary information from the AHA Annual Survey Database.

QuadraMed has developed its site using Medicare claims, cost reports, and other public-use files obtained from the Health Care Financing Administration in Baltimore. The site enables subscribers to locate any acute care hospital in the United States that treats Medicare patients and track hospital characteristics and services, outpatient statistics, financial reports, inpatient utilization, and costs. Since its inception, has had more than 700,000 encounters and a length of stay exceeding eight minutes.