UC Irvine has agreed to pay $1.2 million to settle allegations that the Southern California university allowed residents at its medical center to give patients anesthesia without supervision, then billed Medicare as if doctors were present.
The Orange County Register reported the university denied the claims in a fraud-claim settlement signed last week.
The settlement follows a federal investigation triggered by a whistleblower complaint made in 2008. Dr. Dennis O’Connor, an anesthesiologist and former UCI professor, claimed UCI Medical Center filed records indicating a physician was present when the doctor was in a different building.
In a statement, university officials say the anesthesiology department reviewed its operations, strengthened policies and retrained staff.
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