A well-know Jacksonville healthcare provider is shelling out $26 million in settlement payments to the state and federal government after six hospitals were accused of filing false claims several federal healthcare programs.
WOKV has been looking through the release we got from the Department of Justice and in it they say that between 2003 and 2008 six of the Shands hospitals knowingly filed claims to Medicare Medicaid, and TRICARE for services that should have been billed as outpatient.
"We usually hear about the cases of waste, we don't usually hear when the government gets its money back," attorney Eric Friday tells our partner Action News.
Friday says the hospitals probably fell into bad practices like billing for an overnight stay when the patient was only there a few hours.
"It doesn't necessarily mean that they were intentionally trying to rip the government off."
Friday adds that the money from these waste settlements is supposed to help pay for the Affordable Care Act.
Shands CEO Tim Goldfarb told our partner Action News in a statement the investigation found no intentional misconduct and that the settlement reflects their desire to terminate costly and time-consuming litigation that could go on for a while.
The feds will get the bulk of the settlement, about $25.1 million. The state will receive around $800,000 and the whistleblower who spotlighted the story will also get some of the money, though how much is unknown.