Rush investigates financial misappropriation by former exec×600/public/rush-wash-your-hands_i%20copy_i.jpg

Rush is investigating potential financial misappropriation of funds by a former executive at one of its suburban Chicago hospitals.

The Chicago-based academic health system said it’s currently looking into the issue at its Rush Oak Park Hospital with help from external forensic auditors and counsel. Rush made the disclosure in its financial statement for the quarter ended Sept. 30.

Rush said the amount of money involved is not expected to be material to the overall financial condition of the health system. A Rush spokesperson did not immediately return a request for comment on the disclosure.

Rush’s Oak Park hospital, about eight miles west of its main medical center in Chicago, has 185 beds. In addition to traditional community hospital services, it offers diabetes care, orthopedic and radiation therapy. Rush has three hospitals in total: Rush Oak Park, Rush University Medical Center in Chicago and Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora, Illinois, a Chicago suburb.

Rush’s operating margin was more than halved in the quarter ended Sept. 30 year-over-year. The system said the COVID-19 pandemic has taken a toll on its finances.

Rush generated $24 million in operating income on $774.4 million in revenue in the quarter ended Sept. 30, a 3.1% margin. That’s compared with $47.2 million on $734 million in revenue in the prior-year period, a 6.4% margin.

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General in 2019 found that billing errors at Rush resulted in more than $20 million in Medicare overpayments for inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation claims. Rush disputed the overpayment amounts.

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