- After years of investigating individual Universal Health Services facilities for alleged Medicare and Medicaid billing fraud, the US Department of Justice has expanded its criminal probe to include UHS's corporate office.
- The DoJ investigation has focused on several UHS behavioral health facilities, especially Chicago-based Hartgrove Hospital, according to an SEC filing by the company.
- The investigation dates back to February 2013, when the Office of the Inspector General issued subpoenas to 10 of the company's behavioral health facilities demanding a wide range of billing documents. The OIG has since subpoenaed records or otherwise investigated 11 other UHS facilities
UHS, whose hospitals specialize in treating addiction and mental illness, is doing well despite facing extensive challenges to its billing practices. The company saw a 6.8% growth in admissions in 2014 and opened two new hospitals.
The company's stock is down slightly in the wake of its announcement, but UHS doesn't appear to be facing a crisis of confidence despite the growth of the federal investigation. That being said, UHS execs admit that they don't know how much liability or financial exposure they face if the criminal fraud investigation goes badly.
Meanwhile, UHS continues to face a separate investigation over its billing practices regarding implantable cardioverter defibrillators, but the company has already set aside funds to address this issue.