Citizens Medical Center, a county-owned hospital in Victoria, Texas, has agreed to pay the United States $21,750,000 to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by engaging in improper financial relationships with referring physicians, the Justice Department announced today.
“The Department of Justice has longstanding concerns about improper financial relationships between health care providers and their referral sources, because those relationships can alter a physician’s judgment about the patient’s true health care needs and drive up health care costs for everybody,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “In addition to yielding a recovery for taxpayers, this settlement should deter similar conduct in the future and help make health care more affordable.”
“Any type of false claim or improper behavior under our health care fraud laws are serious allegations that will not be taken lightly,” said U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District of Texas. “The settlement announced today represents the effectiveness of our continuing efforts and an example of our priorities in this arena.”
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