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Allina pays $16 million to settle fraud claim

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Associated Press

MINNEAPOLIS -- Allina Health System paid the federal government $16 million to settle allegations that it fraudulently overbilled Medicare and two other government health programs, the U.S. Attorney's office said Monday.

The settlement, reached Dec. 31, ended a two-year investigation by the Justice Department and U.S. Attorney's office that began when two whistleblowers came forward with the allegations.

Allina had initially denied the allegations.

"We're pleased to reach a final settlement with the Department of Justice," Allina spokeswoman Kendra Calhoun said Monday. As part of the settlement, the company will adopt measures to monitor and educate its employees about proper billing procedures.

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"Staying abreast of all that is very complicated," Calhoun said. She said the quality of care Allina provides "was never in question."

Allina, which owns 16 hospitals and 44 clinics, was accused of using fraudulent billing between 1994 and 2001.

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