Fla. hospital settles Medicare lawsuit

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — A Daytona Beach-area hospital has agreed to pay $85 million to settle a Medicare fraud whistle-blower lawsuit.

Halifax Hospital Medical Center reached the agreement with federal authorities on Monday.

The hospital's director of physician services filed a whistle-blower lawsuit in 2009, accusing the facility of filing false Medicare claims and paying doctors improperly. The Justice Department intervened on some of the allegations two years later.

Under the terms of the settlement, Halifax Hospital isn't admitting liability. It admits that it violated a law prohibiting physicians from making referrals for health services if they have a financial interest.

The whistle-blower in the case will receive just under a quarter of the settlement amount, or about $20.8 million.

The hospital also is entering into a corporate-integrity agreement with the federal government.

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