Shaun Zinck Jun. 17, 2015, 12:58pm

WASHINGTON (Legal Newsline) - A Washington, D.C.-based pediatric care center will pay the United States $12.9 million to settle a lawsuit accusing the center of filing false claims with the Department of Health and Human Services, Benjamin Mizer, principal deputy assistant attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice said.

Children's National Medical Center agreed to the terms on Monday, and the settlement will resolve the suit that alleged it also falsely billed the Virginia and District of Columbia Medicaid programs.

“The false reporting alleged in today’s settlement deprived the Medicare Trust Fund of millions of taxpayers’ dollars,” Mizer said. “Such conduct wastes critical federal health care program funds and drives up the costs of health care for all of us.”

The false reports filed to the Medicaid programs in Virginia and D.C. were used to reimburse the medical center, it is alleged. The federal government accused CNMC of misreporting the number of available beds on its application to the health department.

The government also claimed the medical center misstated its overhead costs, which resulted in the overpayment of Medicare funds and Medicaid funds from Virginia and the District of Columbia.

“The integrity of federal health care programs depends on honest and accurate reporting from the hospitals and other health care providers that receive hundreds of billions of tax dollars every year,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Vincent H. Cohen Jr. of the District of Columbia. “This settlement demonstrates our commitment to defending the integrity of the system and ensuring that taxpayer money goes to meet the most critical health care needs.”

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