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Hospital Fraud Case Could Be a Whopper

The Florida Channel
Leon County Judge John Cooper on June 30, 2022, in a screen grab from The Florida Channel.

A 47-year-old Daytona-area woman who worked at Halifax Medical Center for 15 years says she saw illegal kickbacks to doctors and billing fraud that went on for more than a decade, and kept hoping someone else would report it.

But when no one did, the Orlando Sentinel reports, ElinBaklid-Kunz became the whistleblower in a case that could one day become one of the largest involving just one hospital system. Halifax’s requests for dismissal have twice been denied, and pre-trial depositions are in the late stages, which means the trial could begin late this year.

While the case involves allegations of fraudulent billions, it’s about more than money:  During just one month of 2008, according to the complaint, 82 percent of patients admitted for chest pain did not meet criteria.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.