Bryan Cohen Feb. 11, 2013, 7:23pm

BALTIMORE (Legal Newsline) - Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler announced a state and federal settlement on Friday with St. Joseph's Medical Center resolving allegations of improper Medicaid billing.

Under the terms of the settlement, the Towson-based St. Joseph's will pay $4.9 million to resolve allegations that it unnecessarily admitted patients to the hospital. A total of $4.75 million the settlement will go to the federal government and $152,406 will go to the state of Maryland.

"This is type of fraud and abuse that drives up health care costs for everyone," Gansler said. "Working with our federal partners on this case we've been able to return money back to Maryland Medicaid for those who truly need these services."

St. Joseph's disclosed to the federal government that it admitted patients for short stays of one to two days that were not warranted by the medical condition of the patient. The hospital then allegedly generated larger reimbursements than were proper for each patient.

The case was led by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Maryland along with the Inspector General for the Office of Personnel Management, the Defense Criminal Investigative Services and the Justice Department's Commercial Litigation Branch.

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