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Bondi, Hospital System Reach $3.5M Settlement

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Two days after the U.S. Department of Justice announced a $115 million legal settlement with Adventist Health System, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said Wednesday her office has reached a $3.5 million settlement with the Altamonte Springs-based hospital system.

Both settlements, which stem from whistleblower lawsuits filed by Adventist employees, involve allegations that the hospital firm had improper financial arrangements with physicians.

A statement from Bondi's office said the allegations included submitting false Medicaid claims and awarding doctors based on the number of tests and procedures ordered.

The federal allegations centered, at least in part, on Adventist's Park Ridge Health hospital in Hendersonville, N.C.

"Adventist-owned hospitals, such as Park Ridge, allegedly paid doctors' bonuses based on the number of (tests) and procedures they ordered," Acting U.S. Attorney Jill Westmoreland Rose of the Western District of North Carolina, said in Monday's announcement by the Justice Department. "This type of financial incentive is not only prohibited by law, but can undermine patients' medical care."