March 18, 1999
Vol. 18 No. 12

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    PATH audit investigates billing practices

    On Monday, University of Chicago Hospitals President Ralph Muller and Dean of the Biological Sciences Collegiate Division Glenn Steele sent a letter to the medical center community about the investigation by the U. S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Attorney’s office into physician billing practices at the University of Chicago.

    “This is part of a nationwide investigation of academic medical centers called Physicians at Teaching Hospitals,” said the letter.

    “This investigation focuses on whether the coding and billing for services performed by our physicians have met the regulations established under the Medicare and Medicaid programs. Similar PATH investigations have been launched at more than 50 of the 125 academic medical centers in the U.S.”

    The investigation focuses on the ability of major teaching hospitals to provide the documentation required to bill the government accurately for services performed by physicians and the young doctors they train. In December 1995, the regulations regarding billing for these services to Medicare were clarified. The PATH audits have concentrated on how well the billing practices of academic medical centers complied before 1995 with the subsequent clarifications.

    “As you know, we remain committed to excellence in all aspects of the care we provide, from prevention and early detection to treatment, follow-up and finally, accurate billing for the services provided,” the letter concluded.