A network of urgent care centers based in Arizona was convicted and ordered last week to pay $12.5 million on charges of health care fraud and engaging in monetary transactions derived from unlawful activity.
That fine is equal to the estimated loss that the illegal activity, which included fraudulent billing, inflicted on health insurance companies.
UCXtra Umbrella LLC, which runs under the name Urgent Care Extra, operated more than 30 urgent centers around the state, most of which were in the Phoenix and Tucson areas.
The company pleaded guilty to falsely inflating reimbursement rates from insurance companies by creating practices and billing procedures that led staff to overstate the complexity of the service that was provided.
Additionally, UCXtra encouraged the ordering of tests and procedures that were not necessary for medical reasons but would lead to higher bills and reimbursement rates.
“Greed-driven schemes like this one drive up health care costs and hurt all Americans,” United States Attorney Michael Bailey said in a statement. “This excellent investigation by the FBI and IRS will send a clear message to health care providers that fraudulent billing will be held to account.”
From 2012 through 2016, there were more than a million patient visits at Arizona locations.
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