Fla. hospitals and clinics to pay $3.5 million

PENSACOLA, Fla. (AP) — Radiation oncology providers in Pensacola will pay $3.5 million to the federal government and the state of Florida to resolve allegations they improperly billed government health-care programs.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Friday that the providers — which included Sacred Heart Health System and West Florida Medical Center Clinic — had been accused of improperly billing Medicare, Medicaid and the health care program used by uniformed military.

The allegations included billing for services that were performed while doctors were on vacation as well as billing twice for the same services.

The improper billing is alleged to have taken place between 2007 and 2011 at locations in Pensacola and Destin. The allegations were first raised in a whistleblower lawsuit.

The whistleblower, Richard Koch, will receive nearly $610,000.

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