Lawyers: Tuomey May Close if Forced to Pay Full $237M Judgment

Attorneys for Sumter, S.C.-based Tuomey Healthcare System have said the hospital could be forced to close if it must pay the full judgment of $237 million in a Medicare false claims case, according to a report from The Item.

In October 2013, U.S. District Judge Margaret Seymour ordered Tuomey to pay $237.4 million in fines after a jury found the system and its physicians participated in a kickback scheme and submitted more than 20,000 false Medicare claims.

Lawyers for Tuomey recently filed a brief with the judge overseeing the case, requesting a suspension on the $237 million judgment. They claim the fine exceeds what the hospital would be able to pay.

"The inevitable result will be that Tuomey as it currently operates — a charitable institution that provides care to a community that is both underserved and underinsured, taking all patients regardless of ability to pay — would cease to exist," the brief states, according to The Item. "At worst, the hospital would close altogether; at best, it may be acquired by a for-profit entity."

Tuomey employs nearly 2,000 people. If it closed, Sumter residents would need to travel to Clarendon County or Columbia to the nearest hospitals, roughly 20 miles and 55 miles away, respectively, according to a WLTX report.

More Articles on Tuomey Healthcare:

Jury Finds Tuomey Healthcare Submitted $39M in Illegal Medicare Kickbacks
Tuomey Healthcare's $277M Penalty Reduced Due to Clerical Error
An Overview of the Tuomey Healthcare Case

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