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Worcester’s UMass Memorial Medical Center has settled fraud charges with the attorney general in a whistle-blower case alleging that it improperly sent bills for uninsured patients to a homeless shelter, so it could tap the state for payments. On dozens of occasions, the hospital sent unpaid bills for emergency care to an address where the patients did not live: 701 Main St. in Worcester, the location of the People in Peril homeless shelter, according to court documents unsealed Monday.
The practice, described in a whistle-blower lawsuit in federal court in Worcester, allegedly established a phony patient address and a paper trail of dunning notices, so the hospital could then submit the bills to a state program for payment. The hospital agreed to pay the state $66,000 in a settlement but said it did nothing wrong.