Mercy To Pay $1.5M For Overbilling For Drug Screening Tests

Nov 2, 2017

Portland-based Mercy Hospital has agreed to pay just over $1.5 million to settle allegations that it overbilled Medicare and MaineCare for urinalysis drug screening tests from 2011 through 2013.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew Lizotte says the tests were ordered and performed at the now-closed Mercy Recovery Center in Westbrook.

“There were a number of tests that were all run for single patients on the same day. Because it was the same day, same testing, it had to be a single claim, and instead the allegation is that, rather than submitting those as single claims, they were broken out separately,” he says.

Lizotte says that, as a result, Medicare and MaineCare overpaid Mercy on multiple claims.

In a statement, Eastern Maine Healthcare says the conduct described in the complaint occurred prior to Mercy joining EMHS and that, when EMHS became aware of it, the conduct ceased. In addition, the statement indicates that the billing manager who was primarily responsible is no longer employed by Mercy or its parent company.