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Airlines, hospital systems solve cases of false claims



An airline and its subsidiaries will pay $ 11.1 million to pay False Claims Act fees for aircraft maintenance, while the whistleblower who reported the alleged charges will receive $ 2.2 million, the United States said: s Ministry of Justice on Tuesday.

Separately, last week an Akron, Ohio, hospital system agreed to pay $ 21.3 million to regulate FCA fees.

Wood Dale, Illinois-based AAR Corp. and its subsidiary, Melbourne, Florida-based AAR Airlift Group Inc., agreed to pay $ 11.1 million to resolve FCA allegations related to flight maintenance services performed by Airlift on two U.S. transportation command contracts.

The informant, a former Airlift employee, will receive $ 2.2 million from the settlement, the DOJ said in its statement Tuesday.

The companies also agreed to pay $ 429,274 to resolve a separate Federal Aviation Administration issue, citing deficiencies in Airlift's helicopter maintenance, the statement said.

The allegations involved helicopters such as Airlift owned and maintained for use in transporting the Department of Defense's cargo and personnel. in Afghanistan and Africa, the statement said.

The FCA settlement resolves allegations that Airlift deliberately failed to maintain nine aircraft in accordance with contractual requirements.

Brian M. Boynton, Acting Deputy Attorney General of the DOJ's Civil Service, said in a statement, "Knowing that failure to fulfill contractual obligations is unacceptable, especially when such violations raise security concerns."

AAR did not respond to a request for comment.

In the second most recent FCA settlement, the Akron General Health System agreed to pay $ 21

.3 million to settle fees they paid "significantly above the fair market value of e" to the area's medical teams to secure their patient references, the DOJ said

The department said in a statement that AGHS did so between August 2010 and March 2016, in violation of the Anti-Kickback Charter and the physician's self-referral law, and then filed claims for services provided to patients in violation of the FCA. The Cleveland Clinic acquired AGHS in 2016.

The settlement resolves whistleblower messages from Beverly Brouse, AGHS's former head of internal audit and Ethical Solutions LLC, said the DOJ. said in a statement, "Medical decisions should be made in the best interests of a patient rather than an illegal financial agreement."

Clevelan The Clinic said in a statement, “We are committed to complying with care laws and regulations throughout our organization, and each employee is responsible for complying with the standards of our Code of Conduct.

“In early 2016, shortly after the Cleveland Clinic acquired Akron General, we identified a potential compliance concern related to Akron General's contract with some of its independent medical teams.

“These contracts existed before the Cleveland Clinic acquired Akron General. We immediately reported the matter to the Ministry of Justice and cooperated fully with its review. Akron General and the Ministry of Justice have now reached an agreement.

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