- Associated Press - Friday, December 19, 2014

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) - A hospital is Northern California has agreed to pay the federal government $2.25 million to settle allegations it submitted false Medicare claims.

The settlement comes after a former employee of St. Helena Hospital filed a lawsuit under the federal False Claims Act.

U.S. Attorney Melinda Haag said Friday the hospital knowingly charged Medicare for unnecessary angioplasty - a procedure to open narrowed or blocked blood vessels that supply blood to the heart.

Prosecutors say the hospital in Napa County charged Medicare for such procedures during the period of Jan. 1, 2008 through July 31, 2011.

Haag says former St. Helena Hospital employee Kacie Carroll filed the lawsuit under a federal law that allows whistleblowers to sue companies accused of defrauding the government. Carroll will receive $450,000.

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