The Union Recorder

Top Stories

February 20, 2014

Feds join lawsuit against 2 hospital operators

MACON —

The federal government has joined a whistleblower lawsuit against two large hospital operators accused of filing fraudulent Medicaid and Medicare claims.

The False Claims Act lawsuit was filed last year against Dallas-based Tenet Healthcare Corp. and four of its hospitals in Georgia and South Carolina, as well as a Georgia hospital owned by Naples, Fla.-based Health Management Associates Inc.

The lawsuit claims the hospitals entered into contracts with obstetric clinics operated by Hispanic Medical Management and Clinica de la Mama and their affiliates that primarily serve women living in the country without authorization. The suit says the clinics then referred the women to the hospitals in exchange for kickbacks from fraudulent claims.

Health Management Associates has declined to comment on pending litigation. Tenet said when the lawsuit was unsealed last year that it believes the agreements were appropriate and provided substantial benefit to women in underserved Hispanic communities. Phone numbers for Hispanic Medical Management and Clinica de la Mama, both in Georgia, could not immediately be found.

The federal whistleblower lawsuit, filed by Ralph Williams, a former chief financial officer for Health Management Associates, says the kickback scheme went on for more than a decade. The state of Georgia has also joined the lawsuit to recover state Medicaid funds.

"The Department of Justice is committed to ensuring that health care providers who pay kickbacks in return for patient referrals are held accountable," Stuart F. Delery, the assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Civil Division, said in a statement. "Schemes such as this one corrupt the health care system and take advantage of vulnerable patients."

The Anti-Kickback Statute makes it illegal to offer, pay, solicit or receive payment to win referrals of items or services covered by Medicare, Medicaid and other federally funded programs. It's meant to make sure that a doctor's medical recommendations are based on the patient's best interest rather than financial incentives.

1
Text Only
Top Stories
Poll
AP Video
Raw: Israel Bombs Multiple Targets in Gaza Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment Raw: Cargo Craft Undocks From Space Station Widow: Jury Sent Big Tobacco a $23B Message New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts UN Security Council Calls for MH 17 Crash Probe Obama Bestows Medal of Honor on NH Veteran Texas Sending National Guard Troops to Border Hopkins to Pay $190M After Pelvic Exams Taped Foxx Cites Washington 'Circus Mirror' NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Obama Voices Concern About Casualties in Mideast Diplomacy Intensifies Amid Mounting Gaza Toll AP Exclusive: American Beaten in Israel Speaks Obama Protects Gay, Transgender Workers Raw: Gaza Rescuers Search Rubble for Survivors Raw: International Team Inspects MH17 Bodies Raw: 25 Family Members Killed in Gaza Airstrike US Teen Beaten in Mideast Talks About Ordeal 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success
Facebook
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Stocks
NDN Video
Tsarnaev Friend Is Convicted In First Boston Marathon Trial Guilty Dog Apologizes to Baby for Stealing Her Toy Kanye West Tells-All on Wedding in "GQ" Interview Tony Dungy Weighs in on Michael Sam Scarlett Johansson Set To Marry In August New Star Wars Episode XII X-Wing Revealed Obama: Putin must push separatists to aid MH17 probe Michigan inmates no longer allowed to wear orange due to 'OITNB' Adam Levine Ties the Knot Sebastian The Ibis Walks Beautiful Bride Down The Aisle | ACC Must See Moment NASA Ceremony Honors Moon Walker Neil Armstrong Faces of Souls Lost in Malaysian Plane Crash 105-year-old woman throws first pitch Man Creates Spreadsheet of Wife's Reasons for Turning Down Sex 'Weird Al' Is Wowed by Album's Success Rory McIlroy struggles, surges, wins British Open NOW TRENDING: Real life Pac-Man Explosions as hot air balloon crashes in Clinton DUI Driver Dragged to Safety by Officer After Walking Onto Busy Freeway Celebrities That We'd Like to Send to the Moon