BALTIMORE (AP) — Federal prosecutors are suing a Baltimore hospital for $8.1 million, saying it improperly billed Medicare, Medicaid and the military’s Tricare health benefit program by diagnosing patients with severe malnutrition.

The lawsuit filed Monday accuses Kernan Hospital of manipulating a computer billing system so that it appeared patients had a severe form of malnutrition. The lawsuit seeks $1.6 million in actual damages and fines for each false claim.

A spokeswoman for the University of Maryland Medical System, which owns the hospital, said the medical system doesn’t agree with the government’s findings. Mary Lynn Carver says the organization has been in discussions with prosecutors for some time regarding how it coded patients with malnutrition.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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