Tuomey Healthcare Ordered to Pay $276M for Medicare Kickbacks

A federal judge ordered Sumter, S.C.-based Tuomey Healthcare System to pay $276.7 million in fines after a jury found the system and its physicians participated in a kickback scheme and submitted false Medicare claims, according to a WLTX and Law360 report.

U.S. District Judge Margaret Seymour signed the order yesterday, which breaks down to roughly $39 million in repayments and a civil penalty award of more than $237 million — the amount the government had requested under the False Claims Act, according to the Law360 report.

In May, a jury found Tuomey submitted $39 million worth of bills to Medicare that were illegal due to the system's compensation arrangements with 19 specialists. The specialists received kickbacks from the billings, made from 2005 through 2006, which were designed to discourage them from referring lucrative patients to competing hospitals or physicians.  

Tuomey has already indicated it will appeal the judge's ruling. It asked the judge to grant them a new trial after it was found guilty in May, but Judge Seymour denied the motion.

"Our attorneys are filing a notice of appeal today, and we will also ask for a stay of the judgment, pending appeal," Tuomey Board of Trustees Chairman John Brabham said in the WLTX report. He said Tuomey's board is and remains open to a settlement.

More Articles on Tuomey Healthcare:

Tuomey Healthcare CEO, COO Resign
Jury Finds Tuomey Healthcare Submitted $39M in Illegal Medicare Kickbacks
S&P: Tuomey Healthcare's False Claims Suit Could Decimate Finances

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