The state of Georgia publicly joined a pending federal whistleblower case against two hospital companies, Tenet Healthcare Corporation and Health Management Associates, Inc. and an entity commonly known as Clinica de la Mama. The suit alleges that Clinica operates prenatal clinics to identify and recruit pregnant, undocumented Hispanic women and refers them to Tenet and HMA hospitals that pay for the referrals because the deliveries will be paid for by Medicare and Medicaid.
“To me it was pay for patients, pure and simple. I said this is an illegal agreement, it is a kickback situation,” said the whistleblower, Ralph Williams.
As a CFO, Williams said that he uncovered a contract for “translation services” for which he was unable to find any services provided. After inquiring further, the hospital’s CEO explained the contract was actually for referral of pregnant patients.
The lawsuit aims to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in claims paid by Medicare and Medicaid, going back at least ten years.
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