AP: Appeals court tosses $45M SC hospital penalty
The Associated Press
RICHMOND, Va. —
A federal appeals court has tossed out a judge's ruling that a Sumter, S.C., hospital must pay the federal government nearly $45 million in damages for having an improper relationship with doctors.
A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the order violated Tuomey Hospital's constitutional right to a jury trial on the issue.
In 2010, a jury rejected prosecutors' claim that the hospital submitted hundreds of millions of dollars in fraudulent Medicare claims. The judge later ordered a new trial, but let stand the jury's finding that the hospital illegally hired doctors for its outpatient surgery center so they would refer patients to the center. The appeals court says that finding was nullified when the judge set aside the jury's verdict.
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