GIBSON CITY — Gibson Area Hospital in Gibson City has agreed to pay about $292,000 to settle allegations that it failed to return over-payments from Medicare, Medicaid and other government programs, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of Illinois.

Federal authorities alleged the hospital violated the False Claims Act by failing to return over-payments received between March 9, 2014 and March 24, 2020. The settlement resolves allegations that the hospital “knowingly” retained over-payments pursuant to alleged practices of keeping those under $10, over a year old, duplicates, improperly applied to separate claims and/or were payments for which the payer hadn’t asked three times for a refund, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The state will receive $84,000 of the settlement and the federal government will receive about $208,000.

“This settlement, which avoids protracted litigation, demonstrates that the United States Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with its partners, remains committed to protecting Medicare and Medicaid,” said Douglas Quivey, acting U.S. attorney for the Central District of Illinois. “Although complex programs, the fact remains all medical providers must follow the rules and return taxpayer dollars to which they are not entitled.”

The claims resolved by the settlement were allegations only, and there hasn’t been a determination of liability, authorities said.

The settlement resulted from a joint effort by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the Inspector General’s Office of the Department of Health and Human Services and the Illinois State Police Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

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