Section: Civil penalties for false statement, misrepresentation.
13. a. Any person or entity who makes a false statement or misrepresentation of a material fact in order to qualify any person or entity for any benefits to which he is not entitled under this act or P.L.1996, c.28 (C.26:2H-18.59e et al.), shall, in addition to any other penalty to which the person or entity may be subject under law, be liable to civil penalties of:
(1) payment of interest on the amount of the excess benefits or subsidy payments at the maximum legal rate in effect on the date the benefits were provided to the person or payment was made to the person or entity, for the period from the date upon which benefits were provided or payment was made to the date upon which repayment is made to the department; and
(2) payment of an amount not to exceed three times the amount of the excess benefit or subsidy payment.
b. A hospital which, without intent to violate this act, obtains a subsidy payment in excess of the amount to which it is entitled, shall be liable to a civil penalty of payment of interest on the amount of the excess payment at the maximum legal rate in effect on the date the payment was made to the hospital, from the date upon which payment was made to the date upon which repayment is made to the department, except that a hospital shall not be liable to the civil penalty when an excess subsidy payment is obtained by the hospital as a result of an error made by the department, as determined by the commissioner.
c. All interest and civil penalties provided for in this section shall be recovered in an administrative proceeding held pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.).
d. In order to satisfy any recovery claim asserted against a hospital under this section, whether or not that claim has been the subject of final agency adjudication, the commissioner is authorized to withhold subsidy payments otherwise payable under this act to the hospital.
e. A person who is seeking health care services at a hospital as a patient for a non-emergency or elective procedure who does not furnish proof of health insurance coverage for the services or eligibility for charity care or reduced charge charity care in accordance with the provisions of section 10 of P.L.1992, c.160 (C.26:2H-18.60), or for any other program of benefits funded by the State, shall be required to provide sworn financial information sufficient to determine eligibility for any such program of benefits. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, if the person does not provide the required financial information or the hospital determines that the person is ineligible for any of the aforementioned benefits, the hospital shall be entitled to conclude an arrangement with the person, or an individual acting on the person's behalf, to receive payment from or on behalf of that person as a condition of the provision of health care services to that person.
For the purposes of this subsection, "non-emergency or elective procedure" means a procedure to treat a condition that is not an "emergency" as defined in N.J.A.C.8:38-1.2.
f. Commencing one year after the effective date of P.L.2007, c.217 (C.26:2H-18.60a et al.) and notwithstanding the provisions of any other statute or regulation to the contrary, a hospital that receives a subsidy payment pursuant to P.L.1992, c.160 (C.26:2H-18.51 et al.), on the basis of a charity care claim that the hospital had reasonable cause to suspect was fraudulent as determined by the commissioner, shall, in addition to any other penalty to which the hospital may be subject under law, be subject to a reduction of $2 in the distribution of charity care subsidy payments that it receives during the next succeeding fiscal year for each $1 of subsidy payment received by the hospital on the basis of the fraudulent claim.
If the hospital complied with the regulations and procedures established by the department with respect to charity care documentation, the claims shall be deemed to be presumptively non-fraudulent unless the commissioner determines that the hospital knew or should have known that the information submitted was inaccurate.
g. In any year in which the Legislature and Governor reuses a base year for the calculation of charity care reimbursement, notwithstanding the provisions of section 3 of P.L.2004, c.113 (C. 26:2H-18.59i) to the contrary, a hospital subject to a penalty under subsection f. of this section for that base year shall not be subject to the penalty for the same fraudulent claims in the subsequent year when the base year is reused.
L.1992,c.160,s.13; amended 1995, c.133, s.9; 1996, c.28, s.6; 2001, c.296; 2007, c.217, s.9.
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