SC hospital could face $45M in fines to government

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina hospital convicted of profiting from improper patient referrals could be asked to pay the government nearly $45 million in damages.

Multiple media outlets report that a federal jury in Columbia on Monday rejected prosecutors' claims that Tuomey Hospital in Sumter jacked up profits under the False Claims Act.

But jurors ruled the hospital wrongly profited from patient referrals made by a physician with whom the hospital has an improper financial arrangement.

Prosecutors originally had been seeking $277 million for allegedly fraudulent Medicare claims.

Now, the government wants nearly $45 million in damages. U.S. District Judge Matthew Perry is expected to rule on that request in the next two weeks.

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