- Associated Press - Friday, December 18, 2015

PHOENIX (AP) - Two Arizona hospitals are among 32 in 15 states agreeing to make payments to settle allegations that they submitted false claims to the federal Medicare program for a type of procedure.

According to the Justice Department, the settlements announced Friday are the latest to resolve allegations of hospital mischarges for kyphoplasty procedures. That’s a minimally-invasive procedure used to treat certain spinal fractures that often are due to osteoporosis.

The department said whistleblowers’ lawsuits alleged hospitals increased their Medicare billings by charging for the procedures on an inpatient basis, rather than on an outpatient basis.

The department said two hospitals affiliated with Phoenix-based Banner Health agreed to pay a total of nearly $2.7 million. The hospitals are Banner Boswell Medical Center in Sun City and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center in Glendale.

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