Hospital chain paying $16M to settle kickback case

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LOS ANGELES (AP) – A Los Angeles-based hospital chain charged with Medicare and Medi-Cal fraud has agreed to pay $16 million to settle a criminal kickback case.

The Los Angeles Times reports Pacific Health Corp. hospitals were charged with paying recruiters to find homeless patients who would receive unnecessary services that were billed to Medicare and Medi-Cal.

Federal prosecutors say criminal conspiracy charges filed Thursday will be dropped if Pacific Health pays $16.5 million by March 2017 and meets other conditions.

Pacific Health provided payroll services to three hospitals that allegedly paid more than $2 million in kickbacks to two patient recruiters and submitted $16 million in improper Medicare and Medi-Cal claims during a six-year period ending in 2008.

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