Florida's attorney general's office wants the embattled North Broward Hospital District to hand over $5.3 million for alleged violations of the state's anti-kickback and false claims statutes.
Florida Assistant Attorney General Jill Bennett sent the public hospital district a letter this month demanding it pay $5.3 million to settle the allegations. If Broward refuses to pay, the attorney general's office said it may sue Broward for triple damages and penalties of up to $11,000 for each false claim submitted.
Broward already agreed to pay the federal government $69.5 million in September to settle associated allegations that it illegally paid nine doctors for referrals in violation of federal laws.
Broward said in a statement Thursday that it can't discuss specifics but it's looking into the merits of the state claim and will evaluate its options.
“We take patient care very seriously, including Medicare and Medicaid patients,” Broward said in the statement. “Neither the federal nor state governments have questioned the quality of that care—nor have they questioned medical necessity. The federal settlement and this state claim are focused entirely on employment contracts with a small number of physicians.”
The letter is the latest in a wave of challenges and controversies facing the system. Broward Health's CEO, Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, killed himself in January, and the system reportedly faces state and federal investigations.