KPMG: $9M Settlement in Medicare Fraud Case

Allegations that Big Five firm KPMG helped the nation's largest for-profit hospital chain cheat Medicare and Medicaid will be resolved by a $9 million settlement by the firm.

KPMG this week agreed to settle out of court in a case that last year slapped their client the Columbia Hospital Corporation with over $840 million in criminal fines for defrauding government health care programs.

The case alleged that KPMG filed false claims on behalf of Basic American Medical Inc. and later Columbia Hospital Corp. that allowed them to collect on costs they knew were not allowed. The case revolved around false claims made from 1990 to 1992, and involved four hospitals in Florida and two in Kentucky.

"We vigorously deny that we engaged in any wrongdoing," KPMG spokesman George Ledwith said. He added that the accounting firm agreed to settle only to avoid costly litigation and put a 10-year-old dispute behind it.

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