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Georgia and federal government settle kickback allegations against hospital system


COLUMBUS, Georgia — Authorities say they've reached a settlement with a west Georgia hospital system to resolve allegations of false claims submitted to state and federal health care programs.

The Georgia attorney general's office and the U.S. attorney's office for the Middle District of Georgia announced Friday that Columbus Regional Hospital System has agreed to pay $25 million plus additional payments up to $10 million. They say Dr. Andrew Pippas agreed to pay $425,000.

Georgia will receive $789,960 for Medicaid losses, and the federal government will get $24,666,040.

Authorities say Columbus Regional submitted falsely high claims for services, for radiation therapy at higher levels than was provided and also violated the law that prohibits kickbacks for referrals. They say Pippas got excessive payment from Columbus regional that resulted in illegal claims.

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