Amerigroup Corp., Virginia Beach, Va., said it will appeal a finding in a civil False Claims Act case that potentially could cost the company more than $144 million. A jury in U.S. District Court, Chicago, ruled that the Medicaid managed-care company and its Illinois subsidiary discouraged pregnant women in their third trimester from enrolling, and the jury found the company liable for $48 million in damages. The penalty could be automatically tripled under law, although a judge must rule on the matter. There also could be additional penalties for each claim filed. An Amerigroup spokesman said the company didnt discriminate and would challenge instructions to the jury to count each applicants enrollment form as a claim for payment. The whistle-blower lawsuit was filed by a former associate vice president of governmental relations. The Justice Department and state of Illinois subsequently joined the lawsuit. -- by Jessica Zigmond
Amerigroup to appeal false claims ruling
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