Hospital operator Health Management Associates (HMA) and Georgia-based hospital Clearview Regional Medical Center agreed to pay $595,155 to settle charges they violated the False Claims Act through an illegal kickback scheme. Clearview was previously named Walton Regional Medical Center and owned by HMA during the time period relevant to the lawsuit. Clearview is now owned by Community Health Systems which purchased HMA in January 2014. According to the government, HMA’s Walton Regional Medical Center paid kickbacks to Hispanic Medical Management (d/b/a Clinica de la Mama), in return for Clinica’s agreement to send pregnant women to Walton Regional for deliveries paid for by Medicaid, in violation of the federal Anti-Kickback Statute. As part of the settlement, HMA and Clearview will pay the State of Georgia an additional $396,770 to settle Georgia’s claims under the Georgia False Medicaid Claims Act. The allegations originated in a whistleblower lawsuit filed by former Walton Regional CFO Ralph D. Williams under the qui tam provisions of the False Claims Act. He will receive a whistleblower award of $119,031. DOJ
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