Florida’s Shands to pay $26M over false claims

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The Justice Department says Florida’s Shands Healthcare has agreed to pay $26 million to settle claims that six of its facilities submitted false claims to Medicare, Medicaid and other health care programs.

The department announced Monday that the programs were billed for inpatient services that should have been billed as outpatient services from 2003 to 2008. The settlement arose in a lawsuit filed under the False Claims Act, which allows private citizens to sue on the government’s behalf and receive part of any settlement or judgment.

The lawsuit was filed by Terry Myers, president of a health consulting firm. His share has not yet been determined.

The six Shands facilities are: Shands at Jacksonville; Shands at Gainesville; Shands Alachua General Hospital; Shands at Lakeshore; Shands Starke; and Shands Live Oak.

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