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Published September 26, 2012, 08:53 AM

Audit: Essentia Health-Duluth overbilled Medicare

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Essentia Health of Duluth says it's refunded more than $865,000 in Medicare overpayments.

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Essentia Health of Duluth says it's refunded more than $865,000 in Medicare overpayments.

An audit by the federal Office of Inspector General found Essentia overbilled Medicare by that amount. The audit reviewed $1.2 million in Medicare payments to the health care provider.

Essentia attributes the overpayments to its billing system and to clerical errors. The company's chief audit officer, Vicki Clevenger, says Essentia has switched computer systems and has checked to make sure the error was corrected.

Minnesota Public Radio News reports Essentia billed Medicare $3.18 for every dollar the hospital system was owed.

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