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Report: Rick Santorum On Board Of Hospitals Sued By DOJ

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Jason Cherkis of The Huffington Post writes that Santorum has served on the board of Universal Health Services Inc. (UHS) since April 2007, on the "compensation committee and the nominating/corporate governance committee," though he apparently has no direct role in UHS's general operations.

In October, 2009, Cherkis reports, a Texas-based hospital chain that is owned by UHS settled with the DOJ for $27.5 million over allegations that it had provided kickbacks to doctors to get them to send patients to its hospitals. In March, 2010, the DOJ filed suit against a UHS facility in Virginia for allegedly orchestrating and covering up Medicaid fraud by falsely claiming to have inpatient youth psychiatric facilities.

Cherkis writes:

Both federal and state officials have routinely cited UHS for a seemingly endless number of violations, ranging from Medicaid fraud to patient neglect and abuse. Investigations have uncovered everything from riots to rape to homicide at UHS facilities.

During Santorum's tenure on the UHS board, state documents and court records show, patients at UHS health care facilities have endured systemic failures that have cost millions in court settlements. In several instances, the company and its subsidiaries have been threatened with losing the ability to take in federally-subsidized patients.

Santorum would not comment on UHS's legal troubles. "I would encourage you to contact UHS about these allegations," a Santorum spokesman told the HuffPost in an e-mail. "If I have any additional contact from Sen. Santorum I will let you know."

Read the full report here.