THE LARGEST FOR-PROFIT hospital chain in the United States, Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) runs more than 200 hospitals and surgical centers in 24 states, as well as operates holdings in both England and Switzerland. HCA had been under investigation by the U.S. Justice Department for years when on July 26, 2003, the Justice Department announced that HCA had agreed to pay the government $631 million in civil penalties and damages for false claims to Medicare and Medicaid. Included in the charges against HCA were cost reporting frauds and payment of kickbacks to doctors.

“Health care providers and professionals hold a public trust, and when that trust is violated by fraud and abuse of program funds, and by the payment of kickbacks to the physicians on ...

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