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Whistleblower suit: Hospitals defrauded Medicaid

ATLANTA — A former executive for a hospital operator says the company and another company paid kickbacks to clinics that directed pregnant women living in the country illegally to their hospitals.

The lawsuit, which was unsealed Wednesday, says Health Management Associates, the parent company of East Georgia Regional Medical Center in Statesboro and other Georgia hospitals, and Tenet Healthcare entered into contracts with clinics that cater to Hispanic women to have them refer expecting mothers in the country without authorization to their for-profit hospitals.

The lawsuit says the companies filed fraudulent claims for Medicaid reimbursement and gave kickbacks to the clinics that referred them.

The lawsuit alleges the scheme went from 1999 through the present.

Neither company responded immediately to phone messages seeking comment Wednesday.

The state of Georgia has joined the lawsuit to recover state Medicaid funds.

WSB-TV first reported on the lawsuit.

 

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