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Federal prosecutors reach deal with Central Coast health care agency over false reimbursement claims

They say Lompoc Valley Medical Center will pay $5 million to settle allegations.

Federal prosecutors say a Central Coast health care network has agreed to pay $5 million to settle charges it submitted some false claims for Medi-Cal reimbursement. The settlement involves Lompoc Valley Medical Center.

The issue was linked to an expansion of federal funding for medical services for some low income adults. The contract said if the program didn’t spend at least 85% of the money it received on allowed medical expenses, it had to return the difference.

Prosecutors say that didn’t happen, leading to state and federal prosecutors pursuing the issue.

A half dozen other medical providers in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties have settled similar cases. Prosecutors say they’ve now recovered more than $95 million in federal funds from medical groups in the region.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.