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Published January 05, 2010, 07:29 AM

Wheaton hospital settles suit with US

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Wheaton Community Hospital in western Minnesota has agreed to pay $846,461 to the United States to settle allegations that it made false claims and admitted patients when unnecessary.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Wheaton Community Hospital in western Minnesota has agreed to pay $846,461 to the United States to settle allegations that it made false claims and admitted patients when unnecessary.

The Justice Department announced Monday that the hospital and Dr. Stanley Gallagher agreed to settle.

The government alleged that from 1998 to 2004, the hospital admitted some patients and kept others in acute care when not medically necessary, then billed Medicare for those admissions.

Attorneys for Gallagher said he wouldn't admit a patient unless it was in the patient's best interest. Gallagher's attorneys say he admits to no wrongdoing, but settled to avoid costs of litigation.

An attorney for the hospital did not return a call seeking comment.

Officials say Dr. Steven Radjenovich, a whistleblower in this case, will receive over $203,000 of the settlement total.

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