Associated Press

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) – Mercy Hospital Springfield and its affiliated clinics have agreed to pay $34 million to settle claims of improper Medicare billings.

The U.S. Department of Justice released a settlement document Thursday detailing the agreement with the hospital and medical clinics.

U.S. attorneys contend that Mercy Clinic Springfield Communities violated federal law by compensating physicians based partly on the value of their patient referrals to Mercy Hospital’s chemotherapy treatment center. The Justice Department alleges that resulted in improper Medicare claims.

The settlement includes no admission of wrongdoing by Mercy Hospital and its affiliated clinics.

About $5.4 million of the $34 million settlement payment is to go to physician Viran Roger Holden, who filed the original whistleblower lawsuit raising the claims.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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