Fed. judge orders Tuomey to pay $276 million

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A federal judge has ordered Tuomey Healthcare System, Inc. to pay more than $276 million in fines, costs and reimbursements after a jury found the Sumter County healthcare provider guilty of filing false Medicare claims earlier this year.

The order, signed Monday by Senior United States District Judge Margaret B. Seymour, states Tuomey must repay $39,313,065, plus post judgment interest at the rate of .1 percent, along with costs, as well as $237,454,195 in penalties.

In May, a jury in Columbia found the healthcare provider had violated two federal statutes: the so-called Stark Law and the False Claims Act.

The charges were linked to multiple allegations of Medicare fraud after the hospital signed doctors to exclusive contracts designed to funnel patients to them and away from other physicians who had set up their own outpatient surgery center.

Seymour also rejected Tuomey's request for a new trial.

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