A Georgia-based medical facility will pay nearly $1 million to the state for allegedly filing false Medicaid claims, said Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens on Thursday.
Health Management Associates Inc., operator of Clearview Regional Medical Center, will pay Georgia and the United States a total of $991,925 for filing the false claims with Georgia Medicaid in 2008 and 2009. The hospital was accused of giving kickbacks to Clinica de la Mama, an obstetric clinic that mainly serves undocumented Hispanic women, in order to receive referrals of those patients to the hospital for labor and delivery.
The complaint said the hospital knew the women would qualify for Medicaid or Emergency Medical Assistance. In the settlement, the state of Georgia will receive $396,770.
“I am pleased to announce that my office, in conjunction with the federal government, has reached a settlement with HMA and Clearview Regional Medical Center to resolve allegations that they paid kickbacks in exchange for patient referrals of vulnerable women,” said Olens. “Paying kickbacks for patients violates the law and defrauds Georgia Medicaid. The allegations that the defendants in this case took advantage of undocumented pregnant women about to give birth are extremely troubling. Health care providers’ top priority should be the care of their patients, not their bottom line.”