Health Care Provider to Pay $44 Million

On Thursday, June 3, 2010, Senior U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Perry, Jr., ruled that Tuomey Healthcare System, based in Sumter, South Carolina, must pay $44,888,651 plus interest received from Medicare under physician contracts in violation of the Stark Law.  This ruling from Judge Perry follows the March 29 jury verdict where a federal jury found that the hospital violated the Stark Law, a physician self-referral law, through 18 part-time physician contracts for the hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center.  However, the jurors concluded that the hospital had not violated the False Claims Act and, as a result, would not be required to pay fines and penalties totalling $227.5 million.  Judge Perry also determined that the government was entitled to a new trial regarding the False Claims Act findings.  Any additional money recovered by the government under the False Claims Act will be offset by the $44,888,651 that the government received as a result of the June 3 ruling.

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