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Total Renal Overbilling, Medicare Says

May 09, 2000|From Bloomberg News

Total Renal Care Holdings Inc. would have overcharged Medicare by $16.1 million during a 16-month period if payments hadn't been suspended, Medicare officials said.

Torrance-based Total Renal, the second-largest provider of dialysis services, disputed Medicare's finding and said it would appeal the decision. The company's Minnesota lab also is being investigated.

It's the third time Medicare found it was overcharged by the Florida lab owned by the company. The lab overcharged by $19.8 million over two periods dating to January 1995, according to Medicare, a U.S. government program that pays for medical care for people older than 65.

Medicare's review of the latest period, April 1, 1998, to Aug. 15, 1999, showed it would have overpaid if it hadn't suspended payments in May 1998. A fourth period is still to be examined, the company said.

The company runs 484 outpatient-dialysis centers. Shares fell 19 cents, or 6.4%, to $2.75 on the New York Stock Exchange.

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