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Rose Radiology Centers Inc. has agreed to pay $8.71 million to resolve claims of false billing and kickbacks revealed in two whistleblower lawsuits, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida.

The Justice Department said Friday that it had reached settlements totaling more than $250 million with hundreds of hospitals where doctors implanted cardiac devices in violation of Medicare coverage requirements.

Questionable salaries of several Broward Health cardiologists is a central complaint in a whistleblower lawsuit that led to a recent $69.5 million settlement, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reports. The federal government challenged the hours reported by “medical directors” at Broward Health, according to the Sun Sentinel.

Florida Department of Corrections

Former and current employees in Florida's corrections system testified Tuesday about widespread corruption and unsafe conditions in the state's prisons, which house roughly 100,000 inmates.

A Senate committee that has been investigating Florida's Department of Corrections took the unusual step of swearing in witnesses under oath as they asked questions about the agency, and particularly the actions of the inspectors hired to investigate and report any wrongdoing.

A whistleblower’s lawsuit by an ex-Plaza Health Network executive alleges that false claims were submitted to Medicare and Medicaid to the tune of $130 million, the Broward Bulldog reports.

An employee at the St. Petersburg Department of Veterans Affairs has filed a whistleblower complaint claiming he was fired in retaliation for pointing out problems at the busy claims office, according to The Tampa Tribune.

College students studying whistleblower law heard a first-hand account from the woman who accused Halifax Health of Medicare fraud, the Daytona Beach-News Journal reports. 

For the first time, Elin Baklid-Kunz spoke publicly to Stetson University students about the whistleblower lawsuit that was settled earlier this year for $86 million, and earned $20.8 million for Baklid-Kunz and her attorneys.

A physician who ran the American Cancer Treatment Centers in Rockledge and Titusville for almost 20 years failed to put up a defense in a whistleblower Medicare fraud case because he thought it was moot when his medical practice filed for bankruptcy.

The second phase of a whistle-blower case brought against Halifax Health will focus on patient admissions and whether the hospital improperly charged Medicare for their stays, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

Halifax Hospital agreed Monday to settle a whistle-blower case by paying an amount so large it breaks previous records for hospital systems accused of Medicare fraud.

Adventist Health System/Sunbelt Inc., the parent company of Orlando-based Florida Hospital, has settled a whistleblower suit that alleged seven of its hospitals systematically overbilled federal programs Medicare, Medicaid and Tricare for more than a decade, the

A Washington Post analysis of 125,000 records of Florida patients who underwent spinal fusion found that about half had diagnoses that experts and professional societies say should not be treated that way.

An auto-insurance company owned by the founder of the “1-800-Ask-Gary” referral service has been barred from writing new policies, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune reports. Dr. Gary Kompothecras’ Sarasota-based AGIC Inc. is fighting with the state Office of Insurance Regulation over allegations that it doesn't have enough funds to pay future claims.

In other business news:

A Pembroke Pines chiropractor who was allowed to keep practicing after pleading guilty in the 1980s to defrauding insurance companies is in trouble again, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports. This time, David Hirschenson is accused of illegally chasing down accident victims to offer them medical services.

In response to a billion-dollar whistleblower suit that alleges Halifax Health violated federal laws prohibiting kickbacks to doctors, hospital officials say they were merely serving the public by making sure they paid enough to keep good doctors. The bonuses they paid to certain physicians were needed to ensure they would stay at the safety-net hospital, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

The U.S. Justice Department is seeking between $300 million and $600 million in damages in the whistleblower case against Halifax Health, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.  (Editor’s note: Readers may encounter a paywall.)

The sum that prosecutors mentioned in court filings represents just over $100 million in actual damages to Medicare and Medicaid, while the remainder would be penalties. 

A Daytona Beach pharmacist has filed a lawsuit alleging that he was fired for informing his superiors at Florida Hospital Memorial Medical Center of problems with controlled drugs such as morphine and Fentanyl, according to the Daytona Beach News-Journal.  No comment yet from the hospital.  

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.

Florida Hospital repaid almost $3 million to Medicare following an audit, which the attorney for a whistleblower says is evidence their lawsuit has legs, the Orlando Sentinel reports.  The hospital says the audit was routine and that the amount repaid is far less than 1 percent of revenue, a minor matter.  

Nearly a decade ago Dr. Alan Freedman of Tampa reported a kickback scheme involving a Venice dermatologist and a Tampa pathology lab; now his payday has come. As the U.S. Department of Justice says in a press release, Freedman’s share of the recovery adds up to $4 million.

The dermatologist, Steven J. Wasserman, settled the case with federal authorities by agreeing to pay more than $26 million.