Medical residents are a coveted commodity for teaching hospitals. The federal government’s Graduate Medical Education Program pays millions of dollars in grant money to freestanding hospitals to help them maintain their residency programs.
In order to qualify for these federal funds, hospitals must submit annual applications to HHS’s Health Resources and Services Administration, attesting to certain standards, statistics, and patient needs.
The Children’s Hospital, in Washington, D.C., allegedly misreported this ratio to the government for years, costing government healthcare programs millions of dollars. The respected pediatric hospital allegedly under-reported the number of available beds, thereby skewing the intern-to-available-bed ratio upwards, and qualifying the hospital for increased dollars under the Graduate Medical Education Program. The hospital agreed to return $12.9 million to the government to settle the Medicare fraud allegations, as recently announced by the Department of Justice.
More information for potential whistleblowers is located at the Nolan Auerbach & White website.