Former hospital chain to pay $260M to settle charges, claims
WASHINGTON (AP) — A former Florida-based hospital chain will pay more than $260 million to resolve allegations of false billing and kickbacks.
The U.S. Department of Justice said in a news release Tuesday Health Management Associates was accused of knowingly billing government health care programs for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient or observation services. The chain was also accused of paying physicians in return for referrals.
The settlement also resolves claims that an HMA facility in Mississippi leased space to a local physician, but required the physician to pay rent for only half of the space for patient referrals.
Also, an HMA subsidiary agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud for instituting a plan to improperly increase overall emergency department inpatient admissions at its hospitals.