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University of Pittsburgh Medical Center pays $2.5 million to resolve whistleblower allegations

The complaint alleged neurosurgeons submitted claims for assisting with or supervising surgical procedures when they did not.

Susan Morse, Managing Editor

University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, and three associated healthcare providers, have agreed to pay $2.5 million to settle allegations they submitted false claims to Medicare, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

The complaint alleged that certain neurosurgeons employed by UPMC submitted claims for assisting with or supervising surgical procedures performed by other surgeons, residents, fellows or physician assistants, when those neurosurgeons did not participate in the relevant surgeries to the degree required, U. S. Attorney David J. Hickton said Wednesday.

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The settlement also resolves allegations that a particular neurosurgeon, when performing multi-level spinal surgeries, submitted claims to the Medicare program for levels of spinal decompression not actually performed, he said.

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, along with the University of Pittsburgh Physicians, UPMC Community Medicine and Tri-State Neurosurgical Associates-UPMC, have agreed to pay $2.5 million to resolve several allegations in a whistleblower lawsuit, Hickton said.

Several claims asserted by the whistleblowers are not resolved by the settlement. The whistleblowers will continue to independently pursue those claims, according to Hickton.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only with no determination of liability.

Twitter: @SusanJMorse