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$13 Million for Medicare Violations

(CN) - St. John Health System will pay more than $13.2 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act. Federal prosecutors said the Tulsa-based company submitted claims to Medicare and Medicaid that were tainted its financial relationships with 23 referring physicians and doctors groups. Prosecutors said St. John paid the 23 individual physicians or physician groups to get referrals for medical services.

"Federal law prohibits health-care providers like St. John from billing a federal health care program for referrals from doctors with whom the providers have a financial relationship, unless that relationship falls within certain exceptions," the Department of Justice said in a statement. "Additionally, the Anti-Kickback Statute prohibits the payment of kickbacks for the referral of services that are paid for under a federal health care program."

St. John reported its own violations in April 2008, the Justice Department said.

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