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$2.2 Million for Toenail Trims

ST. LOUIS (CN) - St. John's Mercy Health System will pay $2.2 million to settle allegations it violated the False Claims Act. Federal prosecutors said clinics at six St. John's hospitals in Missouri submitted Medicare claims for routine foot care - which is not covered by Medicare.

Absent certain medical conditions, Medicare does not pay for routine foot-care services; it pays only for specific procedures for patients who have documented diagnoses and serious medical conditions.

Uncle Sam claimed that St. John's clinics in Lebanon, Mountain View, Springfield, Aurora, Cassville and St. Louis received Medicare payments for routine toenail trimmings and toenail debridements from Jan. 1, 2005 to March 31, 2010.

St. John's cooperated with the investigation and closed the foot clinics, the U.S. Attorney's Office said in a statement.

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