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Tuesday July 26th, 2016 2:33AM

Whistleblower suit: hospitals defrauded Medicaid

By The Associated Press
ATLANTA - A former executive for a hospital operator says the company and another company paid kickbacks to clinics that referred pregnant women living in the country illegally to their hospitals.

The lawsuit, which was unsealed Wednesday, says Health Management Associates and Tenet Healthcare entered into contracts with clinics that cater to Hispanic women to have them refer expecting mothers in the country without authorization to their for-profit hospitals.

The lawsuit says the companies filed fraudulent Medicaid claims and gave kickbacks to the clinics.

The lawsuit alleges the scheme went from 1999 through the present.

Health Management Associates said it doesn't comment on pending litigation. Tenet didn't immediately return a phone message.

The state of Georgia has joined the lawsuit to recover state Medicaid funds.

WSB-TV first reported on the lawsuit.
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