Washington, DC (KROC-AM News) - A Cincinnati-based health care company will pay $1.85 million to settle allegations involving its contract for operating two VA outpatient clinics in Minnesota.

Sterling Medical Associates was accused of violating the federal False Claims Act for failing to schedule veterans' medical appointments in a timely manner at VA facilities in Hibbing and Ely. Federal officials alleged the problem resulted in the submission of false claims to the Department of Veterans Affairs because the firm changed appointment dates to make it the wait times for veterans requesting to be seen at the centers appear shorter.

“We expect companies doing business with the government to comply with their contractual obligations, particularly when they relate to the health of our veterans,” said Assistant Attorney General Jody Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division. “The Department is committed to ensuring that our veterans receive the timely medical care that they need and deserve.”

Sterling was awarded the contracts for running the Iron Range outpatient centers in 2013. The alleged violations occurred between July of 2013 and April 2014.

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