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      Hilton Head Hospital implicated in Medicaid scheme

      HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - The parent company of Hilton Head Hospital is denying allegations that the hospital was involved in a kickback scheme involving the Medicaid program.

      A federal whistle-blower lawsuit accuses the Hilton Head Hospital and others in Georgia of paying kickbacks to clinics that directed expectant mothers in the country illegally to their hospitals and filed fraudulent Medicaid claims on those patients.

      The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported that a Hilton Head Hospital spokeswoman referred questions to Tenet Healthcare's corporate office in Dallas.

      Tenet spokeswoman Ashley Walton says the company thinks its agreements between Hispanic Medical Management and Hilton Head Hospital were appropriate. Walton says the company thinks the hospital provided needed health care for underserved pregnant women.

      Federal law prohibits hospitals from paying to get patient referrals.

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      Information from: The Island Packet, http://www.islandpacket.com

      Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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