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Hospital Cheats Ordered to Pay $10.8 Million

GULFPORT, MS (Ben Caxton) — A Mississippi hospital owner who cheated Medicare out of $10.8 million-plus his wife and the former chief financial officer of another company will have to repay Medicare. Jurors returned their verdicts Thursday against Ted and Julie Cain, Tommy Kuluz, Stone County Hospital and Corporate Management Inc., the company for which Kuluz worked. Federal Judge Henry Wingate will hear arguments next week in Gulfport about whether to triple the damages under the federal whistleblower law. The only defendant cleared by the nine-person jury was Starann Lamier, former chief operating officer at Corporate Management. She had signed one of 12 Medicare cost reports submitted to reimburse the Cains’ hospital pay from 2004 through 2015 but testified that she did so because nobody else was available. Kuluz completed the other 11 reports. Criminal charges were not involved. The trial was aimed at recovering Medicare’s money, plus damages and fines.

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