Feds probe alleged fraud at UT Southwestern, Parkland

On May 30, 2010, the Dallas Morning News brought to light allegations of decades of Medicare and Medicaid billing fraud at the prestigious University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and its affiliated Parkland Memorial Hospital.  The report provided examples of the systemic allegations, including medical residents performing surgeries such as appendectomies and even a leg amputation without faculty or attending physician supervision.  While, according to UT Southwestern’s policies, residents can perform certain low-risk procedures, a faculty physician must be present and supervise during all significant portions of any procedure in order to obtain reimbursement from Medicare and Medicaid.  According to the report, records of the procedures were falsified to make it appear as if faculty physicans had supervised.  These records were then submitted for reimbursement.  The U.S. Justice Department and the Department of Health and Human Services are investigating.  The fraud inquiry has been ongoing since at least 2008, according to the newspaper, and the Texas Attorney General is involved as well.  Numerous renowned physicians have come forward with evidence against the University, and many have resigned as a result of the facility’s failure to address their complaints.

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